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THE JEWS IN THE 
EASTERN WAR ZONE 



THB AMERICAN JEWISH GOMMnTBB 
~ NEW YORK 

1916 



H?6T. Sfit.S" 




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THE AMERICAN JEWISH COMMITTEE 

Officers 

Louis Marshall, Ptesideni 

Julian W. Mack. 1 -.. „ .. ^ 

\ Vice-Presidents 

Jagob H. Hollander, J 

Isaac W. Bernheim, Treasmer 

Executive Committee 

CYRUS ADLER, Chairman, - - - Philadblfhia, Pa. 

ISAAC W. BERNHEIM, . - . - Louisvillb, Kt. 

HARRY CUTLER, Pboyidencb, R. I. 

SAMUEL DORF, Nbw Yobk, N. Y. 

JACOB H. HOLLANDER, - - - Bai/timobb, Md. 

JULIAN W. MACE, - - - - - Chicago, III. 

JUDAH L. MAGNES, - . - . Nisw York, N. Y. 

LOUIS MARSHALL, - - - . New York, N. Y. 

JULIUS ROSENWALD, - - - - Chxcaoo, III. 

JACOB H. SCHIFF, - . - - Nbw York, N. Y. 

ISADOR SOBEL, Erib, Pa. 

OSCAR S. STRAUS, - - . - New York, N. Y. 

CYRUS L. SULZBERGER, - - - Nbw York, N. Y. 

MAYER SULZBERGER, - - - Philadblphia, Pa. 

A. LEO WEIL, Pittsburg, Pa. 



OFFICE: 
356 Second Avenue, New York City 



CONTENTS 

PAGS 

INTRODUCTION 7 

RUSSIA 

Jewish Disabilities in Normal Times 19 

the pale of settlement 20 

Recent ''abolition'' act a half-way measure, 
dictated by military necessity. 

OTHER RESTRICTIONS 31 

1. Residence restrictions.— j-2. Occupational 
restrictions. — 3. Property restrictions.— 4. Fiscal 
burdens. — 5. Educational restrictions. — 6. Military 
burdens. 

The War and the Jews 86 

outbreak op war. . 36 

Manifestations of loyalty. — Jewish patriotism. 

THE WAR IN POLAND Al 

Renaissance of Polish hopes. — Polish anti-Se- 
mitism. — Spy stories instigated by Poles, accepted 
and circulated by Russian military authorities. 

MILITARY REPRESSIONS 66 

Extraordinary conduct of military censor. — 
Stifling of Jewish press and speech. — Expulsions. — 
Demand for hostages. — Widespread misery. — Un- 
fair administration of relief. 

The People vs. The Russian Government ... 70 

Anti-Jewish policy of the Government not ap- 
proved by the people. — Duma protests. — Resolu- 
tions of Constitutional Democratic Party. — 
Protests of Municipalities, Public Officials, Etc. 
— Protests of Trade and Professional Organi* 
zATioNs. — Protests of Writers and Publicists. 

OTHER COUNTRIES 

AUSTRIA-HUNGARY 84 

Russian atrocities in Gahcia. 

ROUMANIA 89 

PALESTINE 93 

APPENDIX 

1. Report of Russian Jewish Relief Committee. 08 

2. Speech of Deputy Friedman in the Duma Ill 

3. Speech of Baron Rosen in Imperial Council 117 



THE JEWS IN THE EASTERN WAR ZONE 



INTRODUCTION 

Of all the people that have suffered deeply from the 
present war, none have borne a greater burden than the 
Jews — ^in physical and economic loss, in moral and spiritual 
torment. 

Jews are today fighting each other in all the armies 
of Europe. Ruseda alone has over 350,000 Jewish soldiers; 
Austria has over 50,000; altogether there are probably 
one-half million Jews in the ranks of the fighting armies. 

The Jews are bearing the brunt of the war's burdens, 
not only on the field of battle, where they suffer with 
the rest of the world, but also in their homes, where 
they have been singled out, by their peculiar geographic, 
political and economic position, for disaster surpassing 
that of all others. 

When the war broke out, one-half of the Jewish 
population of the world was trapped in a comer of Eastern 
Europe that is absolutely shut off from all neutral lands 
and from the sea. Russian Poland, where over two 
million Jews lived, is in a salient. South of it is Galicia, 
the frontier province of Austria. Here lived another 
million Jews. Behind Russian Poland are the fifteen 
Russian provinces, which, together with Poland, con- 
stitute the Pale of Jewish Settlement. Here lived another 
four million Jews. 

Thus seven million Jews — ^a population exceeding 
that of Belgium by one million — ^have borne the brunt 
of the war. Behind them was Holy Russia, closed to 



8 THE JEWS IN THE EASTERN WAR ZONE 

them by the May Laws of 1881. In front were hostile 
Germany and Austria. To the south was tmfriendly 
Roumania. They were overwhebned where they stood; 
and over then- bodies crossed and recrossed the German 
armies from the west, the Russian armies from the east 
and the Austrian armies from the south. True, all the 
peoples of this area suffered ravage and pillage by the 
war; but their sufferings were m no degree comparable 
to those of the Jews. The contending armies found it 
politic, in a measure, to court the good will of the Poles, 
Ruthenians and other races in this area. These sustained 
only the necessary and unavoidable hardships of war. 
But the Jews were friendless, their reUgion proscribed. 
In this medieval region all the religious fanaticism 
of the Russians, the chauvinism of the Poles, combined 
with the blood lusts hberated in all men by the war — 
all these fierce hatreds were sluiced into one torrent of 
passion which overwhelmed the Jews. 

Hundreds of thousands were forced from 4;heir homes 
on a day's notice, the more fortunate being packed and 
shipped as freight — ^the old, the sick and insane, men, 
women and children, shuttled from one province to 
another, side-tracked for days without food or help 
of any land — ^the less fortunate driven into the woods 
and swamps to die of starvation. Jewish towns were 
sacked and burned wantonly. Hundreds of Jews were 
carried off as hostages into Germany, Austria and 
Russia. Orgies of lust and torture took place in 
public in the light of day. There are scores of villages 
where not a single woman was left inviolate. Women, 
old and young, were stripped and knouted in the public 
squares. Jews were burned alive in sjmagogues where 
they had fled for shelter. Thousands were executed on 
the flimsiest pretext or from sheer purposeless orudty. 



INTRODUCTION 9 

These Jews^ unlike the Belgians, have no England to 
fly to. The sympathy of the outside world is shut off 
from them. They have not the consolation of knowing 
that they are fighting for their own hearths, or even for 
military glory or in the hope of a possible reward or in- 
denmity. The only thought they cherish is that after 
the struggle shall be over they may at last achieve those 
elementary rights denied to no other people, the right 
to live and move about freely in the land of their birth 
or adoption, to educate their children, to earn a 
livelihood, to worship God according to the dictates 
of their conscience. 

RUSSU 

Nearly half of the Jewish population of the world 
lives in Russia, in the immediate area of active hostilities, 
congested in cities, which are the first point of attack. 
The dreadful position of the Jews of Russia in normal 
times is well known. Forbidden to live outside of the en- 
larged Ghetto, known as the Pale of Settlement; bturdened 
with special taxes; denied even the scant educational 
privileges enjoyed by the rest of the population; harried 
by a corrupt police, a hostile Government and an unf 
friendly populace— m brief, economically degraded aud 
politically outlawed — ^their condition represented the 
extreme of misery. It was the openly expressed policy 
of the reactionaries who ruled Russia to solve the Jewish 
question by ridding the country of its Jews. "One-third 
will accept the Greek Church; one-third will emigrate to 
America; and one-third will die of starvation in Russia" — 
so ran the cynical saying. Some did abjure their faith, 
tens of thousands did starve in Russia and himdreds 
of thousands did emigrate to America. 



10 THE JEWS IN THE EASTERN WAR ZONE 

Loyalty of Russdaii Jews 

Then came the war. The Jews saw therein an oppor- 
tunity to show the Christian population that in spite 
of all the persecutions of the past they were ready to 
forget their tragic history and to begin life anew in a 
united and regenerated Russia. Thousands of Jewish 
young men who had been forced to leave Russia to 
secure the education which their own country denied 
them returned voluntarily to the colors even though 
they knew that all hope of preferment and promotion 
was closed to them. On the field of battle the Jewish 
soldiers displayed courage and intelligence which won 
the respect of their fighting comrades and gained for 
hundreds of them the much desired cross of St. George, 
granted for distinguished valor in the face of the 
enemy; while those who remained at home opened and 
equipped hospitals for wounded soldiers without distinc- 
tion of race or creed, contributed generously to all public 
funds, and, in brief, gave themselves and their possessions 
unsparingly to the Russian cause. 

It appeared at first as though the long desired imion 
with the Russian people was about to be realized. But 
it soon developed that the chains which bound the Jews 
of Russia to their past could not be broken. Forces 
which they could not possibly control doomed them 
to the greatest tragedy in their history. The Pale in 
which they lived was Polish in origin and population. 
Poles and Jews were fellow victims of the Russian op- 
pressor; but instead of being united by the common 
bond of sufifering, they were separated by religious and 
racial differences and above all by dissension deliberately 
fostered among them by the Russian ruloiB until it de- 
veloped into uncontrollable hate. 



INTRODUCTION 11 

Russian Atrocities 

Immediately before the war the struggle had assimied 
its bitterest form — ^that of an unrelenting boycott wag^ 
against the Jews. When the war broke out the political 
status of the Poles changed overnight. Both the Russian 
and the German armies foimd it politic to cultivate 
the good will of the Polish population. Many Poles 
seized the opportimity to gratify personal animosity, 
religious bigotry or chauvinistic mania by denouncing 
the Jews, now to the one invader and now to the other, 
as spies and traitors. In Germany the animus of the 
attacks was to some extent uncovered and the lies 
refuted. But in Russia they found fertile soil. The 
Russian military machine had met with defeat at the 
hands of the Germans. To exonerate themselves in the 
eyes of their own people the military camarilla eagerly 
seized the pretext so readily furnished them by the 
Poles and unloaded the burden of their ill-fortime 
upon the helpless shoulders of the Jew. Men, women, 
even children were executed without the shadow of 
evidence or the formality of a trial. Circumstantial 
stories of Jewish treachery, invented by the Poles, were 
accepted as the truth and circulated freely through the 
Russian press and on the local government bulletin 
boards; but when official investigation proved these 
stories false in every particular, the publication of the 
refutation was discouraged by the censorship. The 
authorities gave the troops a free hand to loot and 
ravage, even encouraging them* by the publication of 
orders which officially denounced all Jews as spies and 
traitors. The result was a series of outrages unprece- 
dented even in Russia. A million Jews were driven from 
their homes in a state of absolute destitution. 



12 THE JEWS IN THE EASTERN WAR ZONE 

Protest of Liberal Russia 

All of the liberal elements of Russia protested against 
this campaign of extermmation, but were powerless in 
the face of the military Government. Hundreds of 
municipal bodies, trade and professional organizations, 
writers, publicists and priests, petitioned the civil govern- 
ment to admit the Jews to human equality or at least 
to suspend its policy of persecution. These memorials, 
together with the speeches delivered in the Duma, con- 
stitute a body of evidence from non-Jewish sources, 
which must condemn the Russian Government in the 
eyes of the world. (See pages 70-83; 117-120.) 

* 

GALIGIA 

During the ten months of the Russian occupation 
of Galicia the Jews of that section suffered even more 
severely than did the Jews who dwelt in the Russian 
Pale. For here the Jews were the subjects of the enemy 
and no pretext. was needed for their maltreatment. The 
Ruthenians and Poles who occupied the land were friendly 
to Russia, which promised them independence and power. 
But Russia could expect nothing from the Jews of 
Galicia, for they were already in the possession of rights 
and liberties not enjoyed by the Jews of Russia, and 
the weight of the Russian invasion fell upon them 
mercilessly. Here thousands of Russian Jewish soldiers 
were forced to give up their lives in an attempt to impose 
upon the free Jews of Galicia the servitude from which 
they themselves so ardently longed to escape in Russia. 
They were forced to witness the desecration by their 
Russian companions-in-arms of synagogues, the outrage 
of Jewish women and the massacre of innocent and 
helpless civilians of their own faith. 



INTRODUCTION 13 

ROUMANU 

Though Roumania is not yet a belligerent, some of 
the Jews of that country have been vitally affected by 
the war. In July of 1915, the Ministry of the Interior 
issued a general order expelling the Jews of the towns 
near the Austro-Hungarian frontier into the interior. 
Though this order was later alleged to have been de- 
signed to prevent the operations of Jewish gram specu- 
lators from Bukowina, many Jews who had resided in the 
border towns for generations were summarily expeUed. 

This action of the Government was bitterly criticized 
by the liberal press and in a memorial addressed to the 
King by the League of Native-bom Jews, and the 
order was finally revoked. 

Whether the present Balkan situation may or may 
not result in the entrance of Roumania among the bel- 
ligerent nations there is no doubt that upon the ter- 
mination of hostilities the question of Roumania's 
treatment of the Jews should be reopened. 

PALESTINE 

• 

At the outbreak of the war Palestine contained, 
according to reliable estimates, about 100,000 Jews, 
some of whom were economically independent ag- 
riculturists, but the great majority of whom were 
aged pilgrims dependent upon their relatives and 
the good-wiU offerings of their pious co-religionists in 
Europe. The war cut them off completely both from 
the markets of Europe and from their relatives and 
friends; nearly the entire Jewish population was thus 
left destitute. Their position was further aggravated by 
the severity with which Turkey, upon her entrance into 
the war as an ally of the Central Powers, treated the 



14 THE JEWS IN THE EASTERN WAR ZONE 

nationals of hostile countries. About 8,000 Jews who 
declined to become Turkish subjects were either expelled 
or departed voluntarily. 

JEWS IN OTHER BELLIGERENT COUNTRIES 

In all the countries where the Jews have heretofore 
enjoyed freedom there has been no special Jewish problem 
during this war. The Jews have identified themselves com- 
pletely with the lands of their birth or adoption, and have 
shared the trials and glories of the peoples among whom 
their lot was cast. 

$ In England, the Jewish population, according ta 
estimates prepared by Lord Rothschild, furnished more 
than its share of recruits to the British army, its quota 
of 17,000 comprising about eight and a half per cent, 
of the total Jewish population as compared with the six 
per cent, furnished by the non-Jewish population. The 
Lord Chief Justice, Baron Reading, a Jew, mobilized 
the financial resources of the country and was called upon 
to head the Anglo-French conmiission which negotiated 
the $500,000,000 credit secured in the United States. 
Lord Rothschild is treasurer of the Red Cross organization. 
Hon. Herbert Samuels is a member of the Coalition 
cabinet. A Jewish battalion organized by Palestinian 
fugitives rendered exceptional service to the allies in the 
Gallipoli Peninsula. Many rewards, including the be- 
stowal of Victoria Crosses and promotions, are listed in 
the Anglo-Jewish press every week. 

In Germany the Jews, although without complete 
social privileges, have borne their full share of the 
burdens of war. To Herr Ballin, the head of the mercantile 
marine, was given the task of organizing the national 
food supply, and other Jews have been prominently 



INTRODUCTION 15 

identified with every department of the industrial mobil- 
ization of the coxmtry. In France and Italy, Austria- 
Hungary and Turkey, Jews are to be found in the 
ministerial cabinets, in command of troops in the field, 
and prominent in charge of the medical service of the 
armies. 



Thus the present war has again demonstrated the 
great truth that, in times of struggle as in times of peace, 
the Jews constitute a most valuable asset to those nations 
that accept them as an integral part of their population 
and permit them to develop freely, but wherever an auto- 
cratic government demoralizes its people by confronting 
them with the spectacle of an unprotected minority 
denied all human rights, the government itself feels the 
reaction and the moral tone of the nation is thereby 
impaired. 



RUSSIA 



NOTE ON SOURCES OF INFORMATION 

For the purposes of this report it has been deemed advisable to 
select) from the mass of material available upon the present status 
of the Jews in Russia, only evidence based upon: 

1. Official and semi-official reports of the Ruadan gov- 
enmient published in its official daily newspaper, "Pravitel- 
stvenny Viestnik/' in its semi-official organ, "Novoe 
Vremya," or in its several military organs. 

2. Debates and Proceedings in the Imperial Duma and 
In the Council of the Empire, particularly evidence fur- 
nished by non-Jewish deputies or evidence of Jewish depu- 
ties that haa passed unchallenged or has been challenged 
unsuccessfully by the Right benches. 

3. Statements in the Liberal Russian press and the 
Jewish press published in Russia, all of which have been 
rigorously censored. 

4. Protests and manifestoes of non-Jewish organiza- 
tions, parties and leaders against the anti^ Jewish policy of the 
government. These protests have been made publicly and 
have passed unchallenged by the Russian Government. 

In brief, the present report is based exclusively upon evidence 
furnished by the Russian government itself, officially in its own 
press, or countenanced by reason of the revision applied, through 
its military and dvil censorship, to the opposition press, or in public 
sx)eeehes and declarations that have passed the government benches 
in the imperial legislative chambers unchallenged. 



RUSSIA 

INTRODUCTION 

Russia acquired the great bulk of her Je^^h popuJa- 
tion through the partitions of Poland, from 1773 to 1796. 
Strongly medieval in outlook and organization as Russia 
was at that time, she treated the Jews with the exceptional 
harshness which the medieval principle ' and policy 
sanctioned and required. By confining them to those 
provinces where they happened to live at the time of the 
partitions, she created a Ghetto greater than any known 
to the Middle Ages; and by imposing restrictions upon 
the right to live and travel even within this Ghetto, she 
has virtually converted it into a penal settlement, where 
six million human beings guilty only of adherence to 
the Jewish faith are compelled to live out their lives 
in squalor and misery, in constant terror of massacre, 
subject to the caprice of police officials and a corrupt ad- 
ministration — in short, without l^al right or social status. 

Only twice within the last century have efforts been 
made to improve the condition of the Jews in Russia; and 
each interval of reUef was followed by a period of greater 
and more cruel repression. The first was during the reign 
of Alexander II; but his assassination in 1881 resulted 
in the complete domination of Russia by the elements 
of reaction, which immediately renewed the persecution 
policy. The "May laws" of Ignatieff (1882) which 
enmesh the Jews to this day, were the immediate product 
of this regime. The second period, a concomitant of 
the abortive revolution of 1904-5, was followed by a 
"pogrom policy" of unprecedented severity which 
lasted until the outbreak of the present war. 

19 



20 THE JEWS IN THE EASTERN WAR ZONE 

THE PALE OF SETTLEMENT 

At the beginning of the war the number of Jews in 
the Russian Empire was estimated at six million or more, 
comprising fully half of the total Jewish population of 
the world. Ninety-five per cent, of these six million 
people were confined by law to a limited area of Russia, 
known as the Pale of Settlement, consisting of the fifteen 
Governments of Western and Southwestern Russia, and 
the ten Governments of Poland, much of which territory 
is now under the German occupation. In reality, how- 
ever, residence within the Pale was further restricted 
to such an extent that territorially the Jews were per- 
mitted to live in only one two-thousandth part of the 
Russian Empire.'*' No Jew was permitted to step outside 
this Pale unless he belonged to one of a few privileged 
classes. Some half-privileged Jews might, with effort, 
obtain special passports for a limited period of residence 
beyond the Pale; but the great majority could not even 
secure this privilege for any period whatsoever. A tre- 
mendous mass of special, restrictive legislation converted 
the Pale into a kind of prison with six million inmates, 
guarded by an army of corrupt and brutal jailers. 

The Recent "Abolition" of the Pale 

In August, 1915, the Council of Ministers issued 
a decree permitting the Jews of the area affected by the 
war to move into the interior of Russia. This act has 
been supposed in some quarters to constitute the virtual 
abolition of the Pale, this interpretation being chiefly 
attributable to the extensive publicity given the measure 
by the Russian government; but the evidence, official 
and otherwise, clearly indicates that far from being a 



* "Legal Sufferings of the Jews in Russia"; edited by Lucien Wolf. London. 
T. Fisher Unwin. 1912. 



THE "ABOLITION" OF THE PALE 21 

generous act of a liberal Government toward an oppressed 
people, it is in reality only a temporary expedient, dictated 
mainly by military necessity and partly by the need of 
a foreign loan; it is evident that it was granted grudg- 
ingly, with galling limitations which served to emphasize 
the servile state of the Jews; that it is m practice ignored 
or evaded at the convenience of the local authorities; 
and that it has been utilized, if not designed, to mislead 
the public opinion of the world. 

Evidence in support of this view will now be considered: 

1. It is a temporary measure dictated by military 
necessity. It does not remove any of the disabilities 
to which the Jews in Russia are legally subject. 

This is admitted officially in the Minute of the Council 
of Ministers for August 4 (17), 1915, at which session 
the abolition decree was promulgated. This Minute 
reads as follows: 

"It has been observed, of late, in connection with 
the military situation, that Jews are migrating en masse 
from the theatre of war and are gathering in certain 
interior governments of the Empire. This is ex- 
plained, on the one hand, by the endeavor, on the 
part of the Jewish population, to depart in good 
time from the localities threatened by the enemy, 
and, on the other hand, by the order, issued by our 
military authorities, to clear certain localities in the 
line of the enemy's advance. The further concen- 
tration of these refugees, whose number has been 
growing ever greater, in the limited area now avail- 
able to them, is causing unrest amoilg the local native 
population and may lead to alarming consequences 
in the form of wholesale disorders. This excessive 
accumulation of Jewish refugees also impedes the 



22 THE JEWS IN THE EASTERN WAR ZONE 

Govenunent seriously in its efforts to provide food, 
work and medical attention for them. Under these 
circmnstanceSy deeming it urgently necessary to take 
prompt measures to avert undesirable possibilities^ 
the Acting Minister of the Interior has made a repre- 
sentation with respect to this matter before the 
CJouncil of Ministers. 

^'Taking up this immediate subject for deliberation 
and without touching upon the question of the general 
revision of laws now in force concerning Jews, the 
Coxmcil of Ministers has found that the most advisable 
way out of the situation created would be to grant 
the Jews the right of residence in cities and towns 
beyond the Pale of Settlement. This privilege, es- 
tablished because of the exigencies of the military 
situation, must not, however, affect the capital cities,* 
and the locaUties imder the jurisdiction of the Minis- 
tries of the Imperial Court and the Minister of War." 

The appalling facts back of this dry official statement 
were already known to all Russia. Hundreds of thousands 
of Jews had been expelled from their homes overnight 
by act of the military authorities. At a previous session 
of the Council of Ministers, Prince Shcherbatoff, him- 
self a Conservative, had presented the terrible con- 
dition of these refugees. He pointed out that they 
were perforce driven into forbidden territory, that it 
was difficult to direct them anywhere, each one naturally 
seeking some place where he had friends or relatives 
in the hope of finding some means of livelihood, and 
that because of the residence restrictions they found 
themselves outlaws against their will, and poured in 
petitions and telegrams in tremendous numbers, begging 



* Petrograd and Moscow. — ^Ed. 



THE "ABOLITION" OF THE PALE 23 

for official permission to reside legally in their new homes. 
These people, he pointed out, cannot be turned away 
from places beyond the Pale, because they cannot poa- 
sibly go back to their old homes.* 

As was shown by Duma Deputy Skobelev, "the 
question of the Pale was brought up in the Council of 
Ministers only when the wave of Jewish refugees had 
already swept away this medieval dam!"t Another 
deputy, an Octobrist, Rostovtzev, declared in the Duma: 
^nVhat Pale is this you are speaking of? There is 
no Pale; Kaiser Wilhelm has abolished it!" 

If any further evidence were needed to demonstrate 
that the aboUtion decree was not a voluntary act of 
emancipation but was forced upon the' government by 
conditions beyond its control, the inspired editorial in 
the semi-official government organ, the "Novoe Vremya," 
of August 9 (22), 1915, supplies this evidence. It declares 
flatly that the reception of the measure by the general 
press as "the first rays of a new dawn" is entirely un- 
warranted; that the question of removing all Jewish 
disabilities was never discussed; it is not particularly 
important anjrway; it was not even worked out for 
presentation to the Duma*| Certain conditions, created 
by a state of affairs already existing, had made it neces- 
sary to modify some of the regulations with respect to 
the Pale. That is all. No permanent statute will be 
enacted. 

2. The decree was issued in the hope of facilitating 
a foreign loan. 



♦ Petrogfad "Retch." Aug. 8 (21), 1916. 

tPetrograd "Retch," Aug. 14 (27), 1915. 

tThifl has reference to that section of the "Constitution'* of 1906, whieh 
empowers the goTemment to issue ministerial decrees while the Duma is not in 
session, but requires it to introduce corresponding legislation in the Duma witlun 
~~ months after the ministerial decree has been pubUi^ed. 



24 THE JEWS IN THE EASTERN WAR ZONE 

Count A. Bobrinskiy a Conservative member of the 
Imperial Council, declared, in a statement to the editor 
of the "Dehn":* 

"The conservative members of the Imperial Council raised no 
objection whatsoever against the recent Government measure 
granting permission to the Jews to reside outside of the Pale. I 
believe that we shall have to become accustomed to the idea of 
seeing the Jews dwell in all parts of Russia after this war is over. 
There can be no return to the old conditions. 

"The necessities of the war must lead us also to sanction future 
concessions toward the Jews whenever the need thereof will be 
recognized by the Government in order to be able to place a 
Govenunent loan in America.'' 

The attitude of "Kolokol," the organ of the Holy 

Synod, reflects this with perfect frankness: 

'Tower has gradually passed from the mailM knights, from 
heroes of the battlefield to the counting bodse, because in gold 
there is more power than in fearless argonauts. If Germany excels 
us in armament and was better prepared in every other way it is 
because her nation is older than ours, older in its culture by several 
hundred years. Herein hes our weakness. But the Jews are the oldest 
people on earth. Their cult is the cult of gold and of brains. It 
does not matter that they have forgotten their glorious epoch of 
military heroism, have forgotten how they defended their Jeru- 
salem. It does not matter that they are no longer accustomed 
to bear arms and to decide iHth the sword their differences and 
quarrels. This people has learned to draw to itself the gold of the 
world. It is like a sponge. ... It has learned caution and 
foresight and is organized into a powerful international force. 
Under the conditions of the present war the Jews are a power not 
to reckon with which is to be politically blind. Would it not be 
advantageous to Russia to throw into its scales these nuggets of 
gold, these billions of the international bankers? . . .''t 

The naivete of these statements is ridiculed by the 
liberal press, led by the Petrograd " Retch," with the 



**'Reform Advocate," Nov. 13. 1915. (Tr. from ths FVanoki). 
t Quoted from "Retch." Aug. 9 (22). 1915. 



THE "ABOLITION" OF THE PALE 25 

comment that "It is difficult for the anti-Semites of yes- 
terday to pour new wine into old flasks. The scare- 
crows of 'Jewish freemasonry/ the 'universal Kehillah' and 
other myths still terrify the editors of 'KolokoF; but 
instead of screaming: 'The Jews are strong; crush 
them!' the cry now is 'The Jews are strong; yield to 
them!' It does not seem to occur to these new converts 
that the Jewish question is merely one of elementary 
civic decency."* 

The significance of this will be appreciated when it 
is recalled that the Uberal press reflects the ideals of 
the Russian masses just as "Kolokol" reflects the hopes 
and fears of the Russian government. 

3. The measure was granted grudgingly, with 
galling limitations which emphasize the humiliating po- 
sition of the Jews. 

The Jews are even under the provisions of the new de- 
cree still debarred from all villages, from the two capitals 
Petrograd and Moscow, from the vicinities where royal 
residences happen to be located and from the districts 
of the Don and Turkestan which happen to be imder 
the jurisdiction of the ministry of war. These restric- 
tions were denounced as senseless by all the liberal 
elements of the Empire. "Russkoe Slovo," August 13 
(26), 1915, declares: 

"Hereafter a Jew may live in Kaluga, but is excluded from 
Tashkent; in Yekaterinodar he may not live; in Nizhni he may. 
It is very hard to find any sense in such distinctions, even from the 
point of view of the Black Hundreds. If you should ask Markov 
2d [the leader of the Black Hundreds. — ^Tr.] into what cities we 
ought to admit Jews — ^whether into Nizhni, or into Tashkent, 
he would answer at first, of course, that we ought not to admit 
them into either; but confronted with 'dire necessity' he would 



♦••Retch." Aug. 9 (22). 1915. 



26 THE JEWS IN THE EASTERN WAR ZONE 

hardly give preference to Tashkent, already full of aUen 
nationalities. 

"And yet to whom, except Markov 2d and his kind, would all 
these exceptions and limitations give any aid or comfort? Sup- 
pose we do allow the Jews perfect freedom of travel within the 
country; suppose we do find villages where so much as a whole 
Jew — and not a fractional Jew — exists statistically per hundred 
of peasant population; suppose we do find a Jewish tailor, a black- 
smith or a merchant in a Russian village — ^would that be such 
a calamity?" 

4. In practice fhe act is often ignored or evaded 
by local officials. 

The Governor of Smolensk has continued to expel 
Jews entering his province, entirely regardless of the 
law. The government of Kiev even refused to permit 
the publication of the ministerial decree until the middle 
of September, some six weeks after its ofiicial promulga- 
tion, and has consistently ignored it since. In prac- 
tically all the other governments of the Empire the 
administration of the act is entirely dependent upon 
the whims of the local governors. Late advices bring 
reports of the expulsions of Jews from the Caucasus, 
Tomsk, Vladivostok, Siberia, and many other cities and 
provinces in which, under the terms of the abolition 
decree, Jews are permitted to reside.* 

In many places the local authorities have even taken 
advantage of the new decree to deprive the Jews of 
rights possessed by them under older statutes. In 
Saratov, for example, a small number of Jewish mer- 
chants, professional men and artisans have been permitted 
to live and engage in gainful occupations since 1893, 
under the terms of a special Ukase issued in that year, 
although the city, being outside the Pale, is closed to 
Jews in general. The regulations, however, required 



• "EntyakAya Zhim." Oct. 25 (Nor. 7), 1916, Nov. 8 (21), 1915. etc. 



^THE "ABOLITION" OF THE PALE 27 

that the Jews obtain special passports from the police 
department certifying to their right of residence in 
Saratov, and special permits from the local license boards, 
based upon the police certificates, authorizing them to 
engage in their several occupations. But now that the 
PaJe has been "abolished" the police oflEicials have dis- 
continued the issuing of special certificates, claiming 
that since all Jews have been granted the right of resi- 
dence throughout the Empire the need for issuing such 
certificates to individual Jews no longer exists. Yet the 
license boards persist in their demand for such certifi- 
cates from the Jews and have, to date, absolutely refused 
to grant them the necessary licenses without which they 
cannot continue in their occupations. In other words, 
the Jews of Saratov now have the legal right to five 
in that city, but are denied the legal right to secure the 
wherewithal to hve.* 

5. The promulgation of the abolition act, designed 
to mislead the public opinion, and thereby to win the 
sympathy, of the civilized world, has not misled the 
people of Russia. 

This is clearly indicated by the typicsJi expressions 
of editorial opinion which follow; and at this point it 
may be well to remind the American reader again that 
in Russia, more than in any other country, the press 
must weigh its words carefully, since editorial missteps 
have serious consequences. 

The "Russkoe Slovo," August 13 (26), 1915, condemns 
the measure as a half-way measure, as a substitution of 
one Pale for another, "even though it be granted that the 
new Pale is larger than the old." It demands tiie fuU 
abolition of the Pale — **that greatest misfortune of 
Russian life.'' 



* *'EhneyBkaya Zhiin." Nov. 8 (21), 1015. 



28 THE JEWS IN THE EASTERN WAR ZONE 

"Unfortunately," it continues, "we tend to repeat our mistakes 
only too often. When we do 'submit' to the demands of life we 
do so either too late or with such indecision and so grudgingly that 
in the end, instead of evoking real satisfaction, we not infrequently 
evoke a feeling of misunderstanding or produce an effect which 
is the very opposite of the one intended. Yet an act can be valid 
and precious and achieve its highest aim only when it is done in 
good time, cheerfully, frankly, straightforwardly and with decision — 
as befits a government that is strong and sure of itself." 

The Petrograd "Retch," the great liberal daily, August 
20 (September 2), 1915, points out that the measure is 
merely tentative and must be legalized by statutory 
enactment within six months. It hopes that this enact- 
ment will not preserve the absurd limitations of the 
original decree. 

''If it has at last been recognized as expedient to remove that 
shameful blot, the Pale, we ought to leave not even a small speck 
of it. From a moral point of view, — and even an empire must have 
a point of view — it matters Uttle whether a man is held by a long 
chain or a short one. There should be no chains at all. . • •" 

This is echoed by the Petrograd "Courier": 

''If there is only one comer of Russia left to which Jews may 
not be admitted, the Pale still remains, no matter what arguments 
may be used, and no matter what promises of future 'privileges' 
may be made. A principle cannot be measured quantitatively. 
The step taken so far is merely a beginning, and life demands that 
it should be completed. Besides the 'right to hve' there are other 
rights derived from it:— the right to attend school, to do business, 
to own property, to choose one's occupation freely."* 

Even the extreme reactionary organ, "Kolokol," 
which has hitherto been most insistent in its demand 
that "True Russians" be protected from Jewish competi- 
tion by the confinement of Jews to the Pale, now declares: 

"Abolish the Pale entirely. Even now it is, in fact, nothing 
but a sieve. All of real ability in Jewry, every Jewish faculty 



* Quoted from "Evreyskaya Zhizn," Aug. 23 (Sept. 5), 1016, pp. 10-12. 



THE "ABOLITION" OF THE PALE 29 

sharpened for the struggle for existence, easily escapes the Pale. 
But this constant necessity for circumvention of the law only cor- 
rupts the Jews and exasperates them/'* 

The persons most affected, the six million Jews of 
Russia, received the "Emancipation Act" with deep 
mistrust. They were chiefly concerned lest the news 
of this act should deceive their co-religionists abroad. At a 
national conference of Jewish publicists and relief workers 
at Petrograd these resolutions were adopted: 

*'We are unwilling that our brethren in other lands shall gain 
a false unpression from our attitude toward the abolition measure. 
• • • The permission to reside in cities outside of the Pale 
in no way remedies the evil, nor does it relieve the pressing needs 
of our times, nor does it aSect in any way the legal restrictions 
in force against Jews. • • • In expressing our profound indig- 
nation at the htuniliation and persecution to which the Jews have 
been subjected since the beginning of the war, we declare that 
the State can do justice to the Jews and prevent further perse- 
cutions only by the total and unconditional repeal of all special 
restrictions." 

The leading Russian Jewish Weekly, "Evreyskaya 
Zhizn," of August 23 (September 6), 1915, declared 
editorially: 

''If this measure had been passed in July or August of 1914 
we would have met it with faith and joy. Then the Jewish people 
were ready to appreciate any poUtical measure of reUef and looked 
upon ever3rthing as the beginning of a new era. That new era 
came, but, alas I of what a different nature! Periods of accusations 
and horrors, of Kovno expulsions and Kuzhif slanders came and 
the people grew desperate. This half measure of the Ministers, 
in spite of its practical importance, cannot vitalize the Jewish 
people, and the main reason lies in the fact that this measure does 
not carry with it any new view upon the real subject matter of the 
Jewish question. This measure is only a slight relief in the con- 



* Quoted from "Retch." Aug. 9 (22). 1915. f See i>ace 48. 



30 THE JEWS IN THE EASTERN WAR ZONE 

dition of citizens who have no rights and who remain without 
rights. . . . The Jews are considered, in the new order, as 
citizens of the second class. We remain the same pariahs, from 
whom something has to be kept back, to whom the villages must 
be closed with fear, and to whom the chosen centers i^ust be closed 
with a feeling of loathing. . . . The element of distinction 
between Jews and other citizens remains and is even more empha- 
sized. The principle of equality of rights for Jews has not been 
realized and without it no material benefits promised by the new 
act will find their way to the soul of the people. Only acknowledg- 
ment of the right of Jews to all rights of Russian citizenship will 
melt the ice of tiiat cold disappointment which has seized all Russian 
Jews.** 

Finally, the eminent Jewish historian, Simeon Dubnov, 
in an impassioned article in ''Evreyskaya Nedelya" 
(September, 1915), denounced the hypocrisy of the 
government and demanded the immediate abolition d 
all Jewish restrictions: 

''It is fuUy a year since the terrified faces of the 'prisoners' 
appeared through the bars of that gigantic prison known as 'the 
Jewish Pale.' Part of the prison was already enveloped in the 
flames of war, and the entire structure was threatened. The 
prisoners, in deathly terror, clamored that the doors be thrown 
open. They were driven from one part of the prison to another 
part that seemed in less danger, but the prison doors remained shut. 
The warden's answer to their prayer was that it was impossible 
to 'release them,' even in war time, because later it would be difficult 
to 'recapture' them! 

"Ultimately the keepers were compelled to open the doors 
slightly and to let out a part of the dazed and half-asphyxiated 
inmates; but even then they were quarantined within three govern- 
ments, which were immediately congested with refugees; and only 
now, when the largest section of the Pale, with a Jewish population 
of two million, has become foreign country — only now are the gates 
of the overcrowded prison thrown wide open and the prisoners 
cautiously permitted to leave. . • . 

^'Should our further emancipation proceed at the same pace, 
we shall attain full freedom only after our complete annihilation* 
. . . The sop is thrown to us under conditions internal and 



'OTHER JEWISH DISABILITIES 31 

external which sharply emphasize its enforced character. This 
measure is not one of restoration; rather is it like a rag thrown 
to the victim after his last shirt has been taken from him. This 
belated, partial, privilege must remind the Jew that of all national- 
ities in Russia — ^not excepting the seminsavage tribes — ^he alone 
needed such a favor. 

''At this time of profound mourning, upon the graves of thou- 
sands of our brothers who have fallen victims not only to the sword 
of the enemy, but because of outrage within our own borders, amidst 
the ruins of our cities, our weary hearts cannot rejoice over the 
beggarly dole tossed out to us. In silence shall our people accept 
the miserly gift from those from whom it is accustomed to receive 
only blows; but, as ever, it will demand aloud that those rights of 
which it has heea deprived should be restored to it." 

It is apparent, therefore, that the l^al status of the 
Jews in Russia has remained substantially unchanged 
by the war. 

The restrictions normally un^)osed upon the Jews of 
Russia (with the exception of certain specially designated 
—and numerically negligible— fractions) subject them 
to the followmg prmcipal disabiUties: 



1. Other Residence Restrictions 

f (a) Within the Pale. Although originally granted 
the right to live anywhere within the Pale, the privilege 
was gradually restricted until the Jews were, in effect, 
confined to the cities and larger towns. By the law of 
May 3 (15), 1882, the Jews were forbidden to settle in 
the villages of the Pale. By the law of December 29, 
1887 (January 10, 1888), they were forbidden to move 
from one town to another. By judicial and adminis- 
trative interpretation "towns" were often designated 
as villages and the Jews expelled from them overnight. 
The net result has been the congestion of the Jewish 



32 THE JEWS IN THE EASTERN WAR ZONE 

population in the cities and larger towns. Although they 
constitute only 12 per cent, of the total population of the 
Pale, they form 41 per cent, of the urban population. 
As this congestion tended to create a ferocity in com- 
petition which reduced incomes and standards to the 
lowest limits, many Jews of necessity attempted to 
escape into the interior of Russia. But their illegal 
stay was possible only with the connivance of a corrupt 
police. Even then the numerous police raids at mid- 
night or early dawn (oblavy — literally " hunts ")> accom- 
panied by an excess of brutaUty, made^ the life of these 
illegal residents one of fear and torment. 

(b) Outside the Pale. The privileged five per 
cent, that was granted the theoretical right of free travel 
and residence throughout the Empire, was also con- 
tinually harassed by arbitrary police and judical meas- 
ures which practically nullified their privilege. This 
class comprises: 

• Artisans, permitted free residence by the law of 1865; 
but constant restrictions and new mterpretations of the 
term have reduced the number of Jews enjoying this 
status to a bare fraction of the Jewish population. 

Merchants of the First Guild, allowed to leave the 
Pale after five years' membership in their guild, and on 
condition of the payment of an annual tax of 800 roubles 
($400) for ten years, after removal from the Pale. Nu- 
merically insignificant to begin with, this class was 
further reduced by police blackmail until it became 
almost negligible. 

Jewish graduates of Russian institutions of higher 
education. The operation of the "percentage" rule, how- 
ever, reduces these to a minimum. (See pp. 33-34.) 

Prostitutes. Jewish women who have become pros- 
titutes are permitted to live outside the Pale. 



OTEDBR JEWISH DISABILITIES ' 33 

2« Occupational Restrictions 

The pubUc service of the Empire, or of any of its 
political subdivisions, is practically closed to Jews. 
Jews may not be teachers (except in Jewish schools), 
or, as a rule, farmers. These artificial restrictions operate 
to drive the Jews mto the occupations permitted to 
them, chiefly trade and 'commerce, thus overcrowding 
the ranks of tradesmen and artisans. 

* 

3. Property Restrictions 

Jews may not buy or sell, rent, lease or even manage 
land or real estate outside the Pale or outside of the 
city limits within the Pale. The artisans privileged 
to practise their handicraft outside the Pale may under 
no circumstances ovm their homes. The ownership, 
direct or indirect, of property in mines or oil fields is 
also forbidden to Jews. 

4. Fiscal Burdens 

The Jews pay, in addition to the normal taxes, a candle 
tax, designed for the support of Jewish schools, and a 
meat tax, originally destined for Jewish religious purposes; 
but in practice these funds are diverted to general, non- 
Jewish, purposes, and even used, in part, for the enforce- 
ment of police measures against the Jews. 

S. Educational Restrictions 

Jews are not admitted to the secondary or higher 
educational institutions and universities, except in pro- 
portions varying from 3 to 15 per cent, of the entire 
niunber of non-Jewish pupils. (For high schools: 10 



U THE JEWS IN THE EASTERN WAR ZONE 

per cent, within the Pale and 5 per cent, outside the 
Pale, except in the two capitals St. Petersburg and 
Moscow, where it is only 3 per cent.; and for univer- 
sities all over the Empire, about 3 per cent.) 

A mimsterial decree issued in August, 1915, permits 
the children of all Jews actively connected with the war 
to enter any educational institution in the country 
regardless of the percentage norm ; but in practice this 
decree, like the decree abolishing the Pale, is entirely 
subject to interpretation and modification by the local 
authorities, who have, so far, virtually ignored it 

The result of the percentage norm applied to the 
admission of Jews to secondary schools and imiversities 
is that in the towns to which the Jews are restricted by 
the domiciliary regulations and where they constitute 
in many cases a very large proportion of the population, 
the great majority of the Jewish youth are denied the 
means of a higher education. In Warsaw, the Jews 
constitute 36.30 per cent, of the population; in Lodz, 

47.59 per cent.; in Lomza, 39.42 per cent.; in Kovno, 

54.60 per cent.; in Vilna, 40 per cent.; In Grodno, 
52.45 per cent.; in Bialostock, 65.62 per cent.; in 
Brest Litovsk, 78.81 per cent.; in Pinsk, 80. 10 per cent.; 
in Berditcheff, 87.52 per cent., etc., yet in all these 
towns only the stipulated percentage of Jewish students 
may be admitted. 

In addition to this restriction, many secondary schools 
(School of Military Medical Hygiene, School of Railroad 
Engineering, School of Electricity, etc.), are entirely closed 
to Jews. Even commercial schools, maintained by Mer- 
chants' Guilds, admit Jews only in proportion to the 
Jewish membership of the Guilds. 

The Government also restricts the establishment of 
higher schools under Jewish auspices. In 1884, it closed 



OTHER JEWISH DISABILITIEB S5 

the TechniGal Institute of Zhitomir (founded in 1862), 
on the ground that, in the southwestern Pale provinces, 
the Jews contributed a majority of the artisans, and a 
special Jewish technical school would increase this dis- 
proportion. In 1885 it closed the Teachers' Institute 
(a noted center of Jewish learning) because ''there was 
no further need for it." 

As a consequence of these limitations and restrictions 
there has been a scramble among Jews to gain admission 
to these institutions. Parents have employed every 
expedient to have their children enrolled. Another 
consequence is that many Jewish young men emigrated 
to Switzerland, Germany and France, to obtain a higher 
education, and thereafter to return to Russia to enter 
professional life. A recent calculation shows that about 
3,000 Jewish students from Russia annually exile them- 
selves in order to attend foreign universities. 

6. Militaiy Service 

The Jews constitute only 4 . 05 per cent, of the popu- 
lation of the Empire, but the proportion of Jews 
in the annual army contingent was estimated, at the 
outbreak of the Japanese war, at 6.7 per cent. This 
is due to the, fact that a great many exemptions which 
the law provides for non-Jews are made inapplicable 
to Jews. In the army the Jews can achieve no rank 
higher fhan that of corporal. A penalty of 300 rubles 
($150) is placed upon each Jewish defection, and the 
whole family, including parents and relatives by mar- 
riage of the person accused, is held responsible therefor. 

The results of these repressions and persecutions 
are known. Politically outlawed, socially and econom- 
ically degraded, the Jewish population imprisoned in the 



36 THE JEWS IN THE EASTERN WAR ZONE 

Pale has festered in misery. The merchantd have been 
obliged to resort to fearful competition. Workingmen, 
overcrowding their industries, have been compelled to 
work for starvation wages. Most of the Jewish homes 
in Russia are miserable hovels, with Uttle air or light. 
In the great cities, the proportion of paupers approxi- 
mates a fifth of the Jev/ish population. In Odessa in 
1900, of a population of 160,000 Jews no less than 48,500 
were supported by charity; 63 per cent, of the dead had 
pauper burials, and a further 20 per cent, were buried 
at the lowest possible rate. In the Governments of 
Ekaterinoslav, Bessarabia, Pietrikov, Chernigov and 
Siedlets, the number of charity cases at the Passover 
festival increased from 41.9 per cent, to 46.8 per cent, 
in four years. 

THE OUTBREAK OF THE WAR 

It was against this background of ever^preading 
persecution and misery that the great war broke upon 
the Jews. They accepted it as loyal Russian citizens, 
and not without hope that it might lead to some im- 
provement in their own conditions. 

The Kehillas (communities) of Petrograd, Odessa and 
other cities officially sent large sums in gold for the 
reservists, established hospitals for the use of the wounded 
without distinction of race or creed, held great patriotic 
demonstrations in the synagogues, at which the Rabbis 
urged the Jewish youth to render their full share of military 
service, and in other ways, presented, as the Mayor 
of Odessa said, ''an example of readiness to sacrifice 
everything for the army." 

The spirit of the Jews of Russia at the outbreak of 
the war is well expressed in the appeal which the Jewish 



JEWISH LOYALTY AND VALOR 37 

community of Vilna, the oldest in Russia, at the very 
heart of the Pale, issued in connection with the estab- 
lishment of a miUtary hospital: 

"Our beloved Fatherland — ^the great Russian Empire — ^has been 
provoked to bloody, terrible conflict. It is a struggle for the 
integrity and greatness of Russia. All true sons of Russia have 
risen as one man to shield their coimtry, with their own breasts, 
against the onslaught of the enemy. Our brothers of the Jewish 
faith, all over the Russian Empire, have also responded to the 
call of duty . . . and many have voluntarily joined the army 
which has gone forth to the field of battle. But circumstances 
now demand that those of us who have not been fortunate enough 
to be called forward to fight for our country with weapons in our 
hands should also make whatever sacrifices we can. We owe a 
sacred obhgation to those who have left their families behind, 
those who are defending our country, and us, with their blood and 
their lives. It is our duty to assume all responsibility for the 
families of the reservists. It is our duty to take care of those who 
will fall wounded or ill in the war. No doubt this sacred duty 
will be assumed by the entire Jewish population of the Empire, 
by individuals no less than by entire communities. The history 
of all past wars, especially those of the nineteenth century, be- 
ginning with the war of 1812, shows that the Jews have honestly 
and sacredly fulfilled their duty as citizens and were ever ready 
to sacrifice upon the altar of their country their wealth, their blood 
and even their fives ... In fike manner, at this great crisis 
in the fife of our country, we, the representatives of the Jewish 
community of Vilna, the oldest in Russia and at the very heart 
of the present conflict, take the liberty of appealing to our co- 
religionists to begin at once the work of organizing relief for the 
wounded and for the famifies of the reservists. We must care 
equaUy for all the soldiers of our glorious army, without dis- 
tinction of race or creed, for all are brothers, sons in common of 
our great Fatherland. • . ." 

The Jewish press also gave Resonant voice to this 
spirit of loyalty and devotion. The "Novy Voskhod,"* 
one of the leading Jewish organs in Russia, issued this call: 



* September 24 (Oct. 7), 1914. 



38 THE JEWS IN THE EASTERN WAR SONB 

'^e were bom and brought up in Russia. Our 
ancestors are buried here. We Russian Jews are bound 
to Russia by ties which cannot be broken, and our 
brothers who have been driven beyond the ocean by 
cruel fate cherish their memories of Russia all through 
life. Custodians of the commandments of otu: fore- 
fathers, nucleus of the entire Jewish nation, we, the 
Jews of Russia, are nevertheless united inseparably 
with the country in which we have dwelt for hundreds of 
years, and from which neither persecution nor oppression 
can tear us away. At this historical moment, when our 
country is threatened by foreign invasion, when brute 
force has taken up arms against the great ideals of 
humanity, the Jews of Russia will bravely go forth to 
battle and will fulfil their sacred duty • • .'' 

The Jewish contingent in the Russian army numbered 
from 350,000 (an estimate made by the Mayor of Petro- 
grad before the Conference of Russian Mayors in August, 
1914)^ to 400,000 (the estimate made by the Jewish 
Colonization Association, Petrograd). The thousands of 
Jewish students who have matriculated at foreign uni- 
versities because the "percentage rule" had closed the 
Russian universities to them, returned to enroll under 
the colors, even though they knew that there was no 
hope of preferment for them. 

On the field of battle the Jewish soldiers distinguished 
themselves for valor. Over one thousand received the 
Medal or Cross of St. George. From the many letters 
of appreciation and affection written by Russian officers 
to the relatives of Jewish soldiers under their command 
who had been disabled or killed, it was evident that the 
Jews had won the affection and respect of the fighting 
men in the field. But it was their eternal misfortune 
that the war, by the logic of military geography, had 



POLES AND JEWS 39 

to be fought out, on the Eastern side, in Poland; for 
between the Poles and the Jews there had long been a 
state of open conflict — ^and the developments of the 
campaign in Poland foredoomed the Jews to disaster 
appalling and almost irretrievable. 



POLES AITD JEWS 

The conflict between the Poles and Jews dates back 
to the earliest period of Jewish life in Poland, 

In its early stages it was purely religious* The Church 
Synod of 1542 declared that: **Whereas the Church 
tolerates the Jews for the sole purpose of reminding us 
of the torments of the Savior, their number must not 
increase under any circumstances."* 

The Synod of 1733 reiterated this gospel of hate by 
declaring that the reason for the existence of the Jews 
is: 

^'That they might remind us of the tortures of the 
Savior, and by their abject and miserable condition 
might serve as an example of the first chastisement 
of God inflicted upon the infidels.'' f 

In its later stages the struggle was chiefly political 
and economic. Wh/en Russia acquired Poland, through 
the several partitions in the eighteenth century, it frankly 
adopted the old Roman principle of divide et imfera. 
It persistently fomented hostilities between the Polish 
and Jewish population by crowding them together in 
a restricted area where neither could make a decent 
livelihood, by pitting them against each other in an 



* Friedlaender, 'The Jewi of Ruaaia imd Poland/' p. 38. 
t Ibid,, p, 57. 



40 THE JEWS IN THE EASTERN WAR ZONE 

economic struggle conducted on the lowest possible 
plane and on the most hopeless terms, by playing off 
religious and racial prejudices and by every oth^ de- 
vice possible to a government with unlimited power 
and an unprincipled poUcy. And the Poles, politically 
undeveloped, instead of combining with the other victims 
of Russia against the common oppressor, turned upon 
their fellows with a ferocity trrly unparalleled in 
European history. 

Several years before the war broke out this struggle 
<»ame to a climax over the election of a deputy to the 
Dmna. The Jews of Polaad felt that they were entitled to 
at least one member to represent them in the Duma, 
particularly m the city of Warsaw, where they con- 
stitute nearly half of the population. It happened, 
however, that in the city of Lodz they unexpectedly 
elected one Jewish deputy, Bomash. The Jews, there- 
fore, seeking to conciliate the Poles and not to wound 
their national pride by insisting upon the election 
of a Jewish deputy from Warsaw, the ancient Polish 
capital, offered to compromise, stipulating only that the 
Polish candidate be not an avowed anti-Semite. The 
Poles, however, insisted upon putting up a notorious 
anti-Semite. The Jews, equally imable to support such 
a candidate in self-respect or to elect one of their own, 
united on a PoHsh SociaUst candidate, electing him 
to the Duma. This led to retaliation in the form of a 
boycott directed not only at Jewish tradesmen, but even 
at Jewish physicians, artisans and other workingmen, 
which soon spread destitution throughout Poland, affect- 
ing, as it did, Jews and Poles alike. So ugly and bitter a 
form did the boycott assume that at times even the Russian 
government was compelled to take the part of the Jews 
as against the Poles. 



THE WAR IN POLAND 41 

Anti-Semitism in Poland 

A significant observation upon the economic character 
of the Polish-Jewish struggle was made by the well 
known Russian joumaUst, Madam A. E. Euskova. 

"I found red-hot anti-Semitism everywhere in Poland. We 
have anti-Semitism in Russia, but of a different kind. . . . Anti- 
Semitic papers like 'Dva Grosha' accused all Jews of all sorts of 
crimes, without protest from the Progressive press, and succeeded 
in arousing the Polish people. In Pyasechna, a ruined place near 
Warsaw, where ten-day battles took place, I spoke to many peasants 
who accused the Jews of many of their troubles, but could never 
explain what they really blamed them for. We Russians held a 
meeting to try to find the causes of this feeling. • . . We 
came to the conclttsion that • • • the Polish- Jewish ques- 
tion is really a Russian-Polish- Jewish question, and touches 
us as much as the Poles. They have not room enough to live, 
and more and more Jews are coming there. Even democratic 
organizations are compelled to take cognizance of this. One peasant 
organization expresses through its organ the idea that it is true that 
the Jews are a burden to Poland, but it warns the peasants against 
anti-Semitism nevertheless."* 

THE WAR IN POLAND 

When the fighting armies overran Poland, the Poles 
saw their chance and seized it. The dream of a free 
Poland had never been absent from their minds. When 
the world catastrophe came the Poles saw in it not only 
an opportimity to regain their land^ that had been dis- 
membered more than a century before, but also an 
opportimity to avenge themselves on the hated Jews. 
Just as the Russians had always played the Poles against 
the Jews, so now the Poles hoped to play Russian, Ger- 
man, Austrian and Jew against each other. It was 
indeed to the interest of both Russia and Austria to 

♦ "Rasviet." December 6 (18). 1914, p. 12. 



42 THE JEWS IN THE EASTERN WAR ZONE 

court the sympathy of Poland. And the Poles seized 
the occasion to denounce the Jews, now to the Russians, 
now to the Gennans, as spies and traitors. 

The position of the Jews under this cross-fire became 
unbearable. Here are several cases, selected at random, 
showing its effect upon the Jewish population: 

One of the first towns in Russian Poland captured 
by the Austrians was Zamosti, near the Hungarian 
frontier, taken by a detachment of Sokol troops in 
September, 1914. They were soon driven out by the 
Russians; and at once the Poles of the town denoimced 
the Jews to the Russian commander, accusing the Jews 
of having given aid to the enemy during the Austrian 
occupation of the town. Twelve Jews were arrested. 
They denied their guilt but were sentenced to death. 
Five of them had already^ been hanged, when, in the 
midst of the, execution, a Russian priest, carrying an 
image of the Virgin, appeared and with his hand on 
the image took oath that the Jews were innocent and 
that the accusation was merely a product of Polish 
vindictiveness. He proved that the Poles of the town 
themselves had supported the Austrians and that even a 
telephone connectioh with Lemberg could be found. 
The seven remaining Jews were then set free. But five 
had already been hanged.* 

At Lemberg, in September, 1914, the Poles accused 
the Jews c^f firing on Russian troops; as a consequence 
a great many Jews were arrested, and nearly seventy 
were attacked and woimded; but an investigation 
proved them all innocent, and Drs. Rabner and Diamond, 
the Jews who had been taken as hostages, were released, t 



♦ George Brandes in "Politiken," Nov., 1914. 

t "Russkaya Viedomosti/' Oct. 2 (15). 1914, p. 20. "Hovy Todchod,*' Oot 2 
(15). 1^14, p. 21. 



THE WAR IN POLAND 48 

At Eleltse and Hadom the Poles plundered many 
) Jewish shops and when the Russians returned after the 
German retreat the Poles denounced the Jews as German 
Sjrmpathizers. Here also those Jews who were arrested 
were found to be innocent and released after investi- 
gation.* 

At Mariampoly near the East Prussia frontier^ because 
of a similar accusation, the entire' Jewish male populj^ 
tion, with their Rabbi, Krovchinski, at their head, were 
compelled to work the roads for three days — September 
22-24 (October 6-7), 1914 (the first two of these days 
falling on the Sukkoth holiday.)! 

In this town, also, one Gershenovitz was sentenced 
to penal servitude for six years because he acted as 
Mayor during the German occupation, although the 
inquiry held by the Russians showed that he had been 
forced by the Germans to accept the office.* 

At Jusefow the Jews were accused of poisoning the 
wells. Seventy-eight were killed outright, many Jewish 
women were violated and all the houses and shops 
plundered. J ^ 

In Drsukenihi a mill owner, Chekhofski, was accused 
of having given a signal for the German bombardment 
of the town by blowing his mill whistle. When the 
Russians reoccupied the town he was brought to trial 
before the Military Tribunal and the charge was proven 
to be groundless.! 

These are only a few mstances,^taken at random, 
of Polish slanders. In not a single known case were 
the charges justified; on the contrary, their gross ab- 
surdity was demonstrated on numerous occasions before 

♦"Novy Voflkhod," Sept. 22 (Oct. 8), 1914, p. 20. 

t "Raaidct." Dec 6 (18). 1914, p. 18. 

i "Pontikeipi." Nov. 1, 1914. 

t '"Bwne^" Mv0h 29 (ApxU 11), 1014. p. 90. 



V 



44 THE JEWS IN THE EASTERN WAR ZONE 

military tribunals that could not possibly be charged 
with prejudice in favor of the Jewish side of the issue. 

A perfect illustration of this is furnished by the story 
of the villages of Groitsi and Nove-Miasto, near Warsaw. 

The Case of Nove-Miasto 

The Germans, in their first advance on Warsaw, in 
September-October, 1914, occupied these villages* for a 
few days. When the Russian 'troops recaptiured the 
towns the Poles at once denounced the Jews as having 
welcomed the German troops and having aided them 
in every possible way — ^whereas the Poles, according 
to their own accoimt, had accepted the German rule 
passively, doing only whatever they were forced to do 
by the military authorities. They pointed out seven 
persons, five Jews and two Germans, who had demon- 
strated such devotion to the invaders as to merit trial 
for treason and the death penalty. One Jew, Goldberg, 
it was charged, had revealed to the Germans the hiding 
place of ten Russian soldiers, resulting in their capture; 
another Jew had shown them where they might requisition 
horses and food, and had acted as guide. 

The case was brought to trial before the military 
guard, and there, under strict examination, it assumed 
an entirely different aspect. A priest, Zemberzhusky, 
testified that Jews and Poles had acted precisely alike 
toward the Germans; that their reception of the Ger- 
mans expressed no joy, that all alike had complained 
of the invaders' requisition and pillage, and that it was 
only due to the tactful conduct of the citizens that the 
town of Nove-Miasto was not entirely demolished. It 
was shown that not a single Russian soldier had been 
captured by the Germans and that the Goldberg charge 



L 



THE CASE OF NOVE-MIASTO 45 

was entirely false. All the other charges were similarly 
disproved. It developed that they were based on two 
facts. In the prelimmary investigation the trial officers, 
being ignorant of Polish, were compelled to employ 
interpreters. One of these interpreted the statement 
of a Polish witness to the effect that he had seen a certain 
Zilberberg walk the streets arm in arm with a German 
officer. The fact brought out in the new trial was that 
the witness had actually seen the German officer seize 
Zilberberg by the neckl In the second place, the story 
had been started in sheer malice by two notorious 
gangsters, whose evidence was unworthy of any con- 
sideration. All of the accused were therefore acquitted."" 

The significance of this episode lies in the fact that the 
Colonel in command in this particular case happened 
to be a kindly man, who, being unwilling to see injustice 
done, went to the trouble to have the case carefully 
investigated. Hundreds of other cases based on 
equally groundless accusations came to court without 
the possibility of such a fair investigation. 

Another case of this sort is reported from Suvalki. 
It was charged by the Poles that the Jews of Suvalki 
had met the Germans with bread and salt (the national 
Russian custom in welcoming guests). The facts were 
that practically the entire population of Suvalki had 
fled at the approach of the Germans. The Germans, 
however, had, with their usual thoroughness, made 
out in advance a list of the leading citizens of Suvalki 
who were to be appointed to the deputation that was 
"to welcome" the Germans. Only one Jew was on this list. 

Not all the Poles were bitterly hostile to the Jews, 
as may be seen from the following story, reprinted from 

* "Rasviet," Apzil 12 (25). 1915. pp. lfr.19; ** Noyy Voakhod." April 10 (^) 
1915. pp. 2»^a. 



46 THE JEWS IN THE EASTERN WAR ZONE 

the Polish paper, "Novo Gazeta," in ^'Rasviet," February 
8 (21), 1915, p. 36: 

"An army officer, a Pole, reports this: Where our detachment 
waa stationed, I found a group of soldiers surrounding a muzhik, 
who was telling them that the Jews had cut the telegraph wires. 
The soldiers were furious and ready to take revenge on the miserable 
Jews. I approached the group and said to the muzhik: 'I am glad 
to see that your patriotic impulses urge you to expose these Jew 
traitors. You must take me to them at once. You say you know 
the guilty ones. Show us how we can capture tiiem and dispose of 
them.' 

''The muzhik became confused at once. He stammered: 'I 
didn't — ^say anything about them. I didn't see them myself. I 
didn't see anything m3rBelf. People say so. Everybody says so.' 

''I assumed a severe attitude and said to him: 'You know 
these people perfectly well, but you don't want to expose thein. 
You are trying to shelter these traitors. You must take me to 
them at once I' After more evasions, the muzhik broke down 
completely. Thereupon the soldiers turned upon him, and wanted 
to beat him, but I took him under my protection. He confessed 
completely to me and I sent him off and told him to beg his 
priest to preach on the following Sunday on the text 'Love thy 
neighbor as thyself.' 

"Another instance was this. In a Warsaw street car filled with 
passengers, I saw a Polish woman physician looking out at a Jewish 
automobile ambulance. 'Look here,' she cried, 'These Jews also 
have motor ambulances. I think they must be stolen.' I 
took it upon myself to ask her for an explanation of this. She 
was decent enough to admit that she knew nothing at all about it 
and that she had said these words without thinking. 

"In these two cases it happened that I came out as a Pole 
defending the honor of Poland, because I believe that Poland does 
not require such outrageous falsifications and slanders for its regen- 
eration. If they were not so painful to relate, I could give you a 
whole series of such incidents." 

Even the Polish clergy, usually anti-Semitic, felt com- 
pelled to protest against the excesses of their followers. 
Thus in January, 1915, the priests of Plotsk, headed by 
Archbishop Kovalsky, interceded on behalf of the Jews 



ANn-SEMITlSM IN POLAND 47 

with the Russian authorities who had made numerous 
arrests upon, the denunciations of Polish agitators. 

So outrageous was the attitude of the Poles that at 
a Conference of Progressive Deputies of the Duma held 
at Petrograd in January, 1915, resolutions were passed 
to extend no help whatever to the Polish Deputies in any 
of their nationalist projects in the Dimia because of 
their attitude toward the Jews. 

The Polish weekly, "Glos Polsky," published in 
Petrograd, contains an interview with Professor Milyukov 
on the Polish question: 

"Our point of view is that along the Biver Vistula live not only 
Poles, but that there also lives another people, the Jewish people, 
which has a right to be recognized. . . . 

"When the Polish question will be taken up in the legislative 
chambers, we shall demand that the fundamental ast should guar- 
antee the rights of the Jewish minority as well^ . . ."* 

At several conferences of Russian, Polish and Jewish 
conmiunal workers which took place in Petrograd and 
Moscow in January, 1915, the majority of the Russians 
expressed their solidarity with the Jews in this matter, f 

Even the most reactionary Russians foresaw danger 
to Russia in the Polish campaign of vilification against 
the Jews. Thus the "True Russian" (anti-Semitic) 
leader, Orloflf, after a visit to Poland, declared: "I have 
seen nothing bad on the part of the Jews, although the 
Poles made up all sorts of accusations against them. 
But in these Polish reports you feel prejudice, vindictive- 
ness, hatred, nothing else. . . . The Jews are loyal 
and brave, and it is most inadvisable to pursue a policy 
which might convert six million subjects into enemies." | 



♦ "Raariet/* Jan. 26 (Feb. 7), 1916, p. 27. 

t *'RaBTi6t/' Feb. 1 (14). 1916, p. 39. 

t *'Riumet." Apr. 26 (May 9), 1916, p. 21. 



48 THE JEWS IN THE EASTERN WAR ZONE 

The Euzhi Case 

But the Russian militaxy authorities, seeking a scape- 
goat for their own failures, eagerly seized upon the 
Polish stories, and gave them official standing and 
wide circulation. The notorious Kuzhi incident illus- 
trates the methods used. The story, as first published 
in the military paper "Nash Viestnik," the official organ 
of the northwestern army, on May 6 (18), 1915, in the 
official daily newspaper issued by the Russian govern- 
ment, the "Pravitelstvenny Viestnik," May 6 (19), 1915, 
and elsewhere, ran as follows: 

"On the night of April 28th, in Euzhi, northwest of ShavU, 
the Germans attacked a detachment of one of our infantry regi- 
ments resting there. This disclosed the shockingly treacherous 
conduct of a part of the population — especially the Jewish part — 
towards our troops. The Jews had concealed German soldiers 
in their cellars before oiu: troops arrived, and at a signal they set 
fire to Euzhi on all sides. The Germans, leaping out of the cellars, 
rushed to the house which our regimental commander was occupy- 
ing. At the same time two of the battalions, supported by cavalry, 
attacked our outposts and captured the village. The house in 
which the commander had his headquarters soon feD in. Colonel 
Vavilov ordered that the regimental colors be burned, and, re- 
fusing to surrender to the Germans, was killed. Our reinforce- 
ments then arrived, drove the Germans out of Euzhi at the point 
of the bayonet, and saved the remnants of the burning standard. 
All the local inhabitants who had taken part in this terrible affair 
were brought before a court-martial and the ringleaders will be 
sent to Siberia. This sad incident again demonstrates the need 
of keeping constant guard, particularly over all those Jewish towns 
which have at any time been held by the enemy." 

This story, in all its circumstantial details, was spread 
broadcast throughout the Empire, in all the oflBicial and 
semi-official organs of the government, on the bulletin 
boards, wherever the Russian populace congregates. 
By miUtary order it was brought to the attention of every 



\ 



SPY STORIES 49 

man in the anny, down to the last private. Country 
editors were ordered to reprint the story under threat 
of prosecution. Not a hamlet in all Russia but shuddered 
at the monstrous treachery of the Jews. In Tashkent the 
clergy offered a prayer in the Cathedral, petitioning God 
to deliver the Russian army from the machinations of 
Jewish traitors. Even the Liberals, usually sjmapathetic 
toward the Jews, were silent, as no defense was possible 
in so black a case. 

Then it occurred to someone to make an investi- 
gation. Three deputies of the Duma went to the spot 
in person and discovered that in the entire village of 
Kiizhi there were only six Jewish families — ^all but one 
living in miserable huts without cellar space; that the 
one cellar in a Jewish house was only nine by seven and 
too low for a man to stand upright in; that it could not 
possibly hide enough German soldiers to attack, much 
less annihilate, a Russian detachment; that the few 
Jews of the town had left it, with the permission of the 
military authorities, on April 27th, the day before the 
town had been attacked by the Germans, and were 
known to have spent the night of April 27-28 at another 
village, Minstok; and, finally, that no Jews had been 
tried, convicted or executed at Euzhi; in brief, that the 
story was, from beginning to end, an absolute fabrication. 

This Kuzhi story was branded as a lie by the Jewish 

Deputy Friedman in the Duma on July 19 (August 1), 

1916. He was supported by the non-Jewish Deputy 

Kerensky, who denounced the fabrication in these words: 

<*I declare now from thi^ rostrum that I personaUy went to 
the town of Kuzhi to verily the accusation that the Jewish popula- 
tion of Kuzhi had committed a treacherous assault on the Russian 
army, and I feel it my duty to reiterate that this is but an igno- 
minious slander. There was no such case, and under local con- 
ditions there could be none." 



fiO THE JEWS IN THE EASTERN WAR ZONE 

But the refutation of the lie was not spread through- 
out Russia. It has been consistently suppressed by the 
military censor, and to this day the great majority of the 
Russian people, in the absence of disproof, fully believe 
the story. 

The Shavli Case 

Another spy story widely circulated in the anti- 
Semitic press was that the Jews of Shavli had been 
expelled from Kurland because they were detected 
in the act of leading the German troops on to Shavli. 
This also was printed in all the military and semi-official 
newspapers of Russia and from there reprinted in the 
general press. The newspaper "Dehn" pointed out 
the absurdity of this and similar charges:* 

''Accepting the story as it stands, without demanding the 
names of the Jews found guilty, or any other details, let us simply 
examine the map. Shavli is not in Kurland at all. It is in the 
province of Kovno, and is 50 versts from the nearest point in Kur- 
land, and more than 50 versts from the nearest point inhabitated 
by Jews. The Germans, we know, moved to Shavli, not through 
Kurland, but from the opposite direction. The charge, if true, 
would therefore mean that the Jews of Kurland went 100 versts 
out of their way in an entirely strange territory in order to commit 
treason by communicating with Germans. This is obvious non- 
sense. Nor is it less obvious that this fiction has been manu- 
factured out of whole cloth. And this is how it was manufactured: 
Reports reached the newspapers that the Jews of Kurland were 
being expelled. The anti-Semitic papers at once argued that if 
the Jews were being expelled they must have committed some 
treason, and since the line of the German advance was known to 
be in the general direction of Shavli, and since these people were 
too lazy to consult tl(e map, they promptly decided that the exptdsion 
must have been due to the fact that the Jews of Kurland had guided 
the Germans to Shavli." 

And so this preposterous story was started on its way. 

•Qaoted from *'RetoV May 10 (23), 1915. 



SPY STORIES It 

Other Spy Stories 

No story was too absurd to be given credibility and 
systematic circulation. It was reported, and seriously 
believed, that at a place unnamed and a time unknown 
some Jew had enclosed a million and half roubles in a. 
cofiSn and shipped the coflin to Germany. The chief 
Rabbi and the Jewish community of Warsaw telegraphed 
to the "Novoe Vremya" and several other leading papers, 
protesting against this monstrous slander against the 
Jews at a time when their sons were shedding their blood 
freely on the battlefields. The "Novoe Vremya" de- 
clined to publish the telegram.* 

The Jewish community of Petrograd appealed to the 
Grand Duke Nicholas, then Commander-in-Chief of the 
Russian armies, in these words: 

'The entire Jewish people would cast out, 
with scorn and indignation, those base criminals 
who, forgetting duty and conscience, would, in 
this year of universal sacrifice, break their sacred 
vows of loyalty to the fatherland. Such treachery 
is alien to our faith and was never known to 
exist among Jews to any greater extent than among 
other peoples. And never yet, in the cotitse of 
the centuriesi no matter to. what persecutions the 
Jewsi under the influence of prejudice created 
by their devotion to their ancient f ailli and customs, 
may have been subjectedi has any government 
denounced ALL of its subjects as traitors to their 
country. This is the first time in all history that 
such an attitude has been assumed by any govern- 
ment toward the Jews. At the very time that our 
sons are fighting in the ranks of the Russian 

* "Novy Voskhod," Aug. 28 (Sept. 10). 1914. p. 22. 



52 THE JEWS IN THE EASTERN WAR ZONE 

army for the honor and glory of Russia, we, fheir 
fathers, are held responsible for the acts of a few 
criminals and are being persecuted for their 
vile deeds, aimed at the betrayal of our own 
sons. Never has any man or any people been 
subjected to torment greater than this, to humil- 
iation less bearable or more offensive to honor 
or self respect. • • . Your Imperial Highness ! 
In this sad hour of trial we long to implant in our 
people faith in a brighter future, we long to pre- 
serve that tie of loyalty towards our common 
country which is so essential for the welfare of 
all the peoples inhabiting Russia, and which was 
demonstrated so powerfully when the insolent 
enemy first threw down the gauntlet to Russia. , 
We do not wish to admit discord, despair and 
sorrow where should reign only unity, harmony, 
hope. And we dare to appeal to your Imperial 
Highness in the hope that measures insulting to 
us will cease to be applied, that the stamp of out- 
cast be removed from our faces and that we may 
be pemutted, as loyal sons of our country, freed 
from all suspicion, to use our whole strength in 
the struggle with the common enemy." 

No reply was received to this appeal; on the contrary, 
the policy of fastening upon the Jews all the blame 
for Russian defeats was carried out consistently by the 
military machine. The "Russki Invalid," the official 
journal of the War Department, in the spring of 1916, 
definitely accused the Jews of disloyalty to the State 
and of sympathy for Germany, and openly attributed 
Russian disaster to this cause.* 



• "Novy Voddiod,** April 24 (May 7). 1915. 



SPY STORIES 63 

Military orders like the following were common: 

ORDER No. 89. 

Issued to the Soldiebs of the Fortified Region, Fobtbess 

NoYOQEORGiEysK, Nov. 27, 1914. 

"The German newspapers print articles de- 
claring that among the Russian Jews the Germans 
find reliable allies who, besides supplying them 
with food, are often the best and unpaid spies, 
ready to enter any service injurious to the cause 
of Russia, and that in German victory the Jews 
see their salvation f^om Imperial oppression and 
Polish persecution. Similar information continues 
to come in from the army. 

In order to protect the army from the harm- 
ful activities of the Jewish population, the Com- 
mander-in-Chief has ordered that the forces of 
occupation take hostages from among the Jewish 
population, warning the inhabitants that in case 
of treacherous activities on the part of any one 
of the local inhabitants not only during the period of 
om* occupation of a given inhabited point, but also 
after our leaving it, the hostages will be executed, 
which order is to be carried out in case of necessity. 

Upon occupation of inhabited points, careful 
searches are to be made to find out whether there 
are any arrangements for wireless telegraphy, sig- 
naling, pigeon stations, underground telegraphs, 
and so forth, and the full penalty of the law is to 
be meted out to anyone connected with this. 

Reference: Telegram by General Oranovsky of 
this year under No. 3432. Signed, Chief of the 
Fortified Region. 

General of the Cavalry, Bobyb." 



M THE JEWS IN THE EASTERN WAR ZONE 

This order was issued from the press at six o'clock 
in the eveningy December 2, 1914, and immediately 
proved profitable to the dregs of the Russian soldiery, 
as was demonstrated at a court martial held in Lomza, 
where it was proven that three members of a signal 
corps had "planted" a telephone in the motion picture 
theater of a Jew named Eisenbiegel, and had then ar- 
rested him and demanded 5,000 roubles blackmail. 
In the course of the trial it developed that one of the men 
was responsible for the hanging of no less than seventeen 
innocent Jews as spies solely because they were unable 
or unwilling to pay the blackmail demanded by him.* 

Even the loyalty of Jewish soldiers was officially 
questioned. Order No. 1193 of the General Staff, dated 
April 27-May 10, 1915, commands all the troops "To 
watch the Jewish soldiers — especially their readiness to 
surrender as prisoners— and m general, their entire 
conduct." 

But the publication and circulation of orders like 
these reacted disastrously upon the Russian arms. By 
branding the entire Jewish population as traitorous 
the military authorities encouraged the Poles to fabricate 
new slanders, the spread of which only served to heighten 
the distrust of the populations and to make the fighting 
area of Poland a quagmire for the Russian armies. The 
troops did not know whom to trust or distrust. Instead 
of fighting on friendly ground, welcomed and supported 
by the moral and economic resources of the civilian 
population, the Russians fought on ground undermined 
by Mred, dissension and distrust. 

When they began to realize this state of affairs some 
of the Russian commanders made desperate efforts to 
check the spy mania. 

• ''Naaha SIoto," June 24. 1916. 



spy STORIES 96 

General P. Eurlov issued the following order in ttMf 
Baltic provinces on February 25, 1915: 

ORDER No. 27 

''Of late, more and more anonymous denun- 
ciations and reports concerning crimes and actions 
closely connected with the peculiar conditions of 
war times are coming in in the provinces given over 
to my supervision. Such reports not only lack 
confirmation in most cases, but investigations 
prove that they are caused in the majority of 
cases not by a patriotic desire to help the military 
authorities, but by personal reasons of revenge, 
not only not admissible in war time, but also par- 
ticularly criminal. By distracting the attention 
of of&cials from their necessary duties, these re- 
ports promote disorder and excitement among the 
local population. 

"I have asked the various Governors to order 
the police officials imder their supervision not to 
institute any investigations on the basis of anony- 
mous denunciations except in extraordinary cases 
(Article 300 of the Criminal Code), but to for- 
ward these denunciations to me and wait for orders. 

"In the case of signed denunciations and re- 
ports, the police officials must first of all question 
the denimciator, warning him of the consequence 
of a false denunciation, and if any signs of crime 
should be established in the courses of the exam- 
ination, he should be dealt with according to 
Articles 250 to 261 of the Criminal Code, or the 
Governors should impose penalties in their ad- 
ministrative capacity. I order the police officials 



56 THE JEWS IN THE EASTERN WAR ZONE 

to strictly follow Article 254 of the Code when 
makmg an investigation. . Witnesses found to 
bear false reports shall be subjected to criminal 
prosecution according to Article 940 of the Code. 

"In view of the particularly criminal character 
of false denunciations in war time, I shall apply 
the most rigorous measures to those found guilty 
of this offense. 

''I have asked the Governors to make this order 
public to all."* 

SUPPRESSION OF YIDDISH PRESS AND 

SPEECH 

It appears also that the similarity of the Yiddish and 
German languages further laid the Jews open to dis- 
trust. The use of Yiddish, in conversation, in corre- 
spondence, over the telephone, in the theatre, etc., was 
prohibited by legal, military and civil authorities under 
penalty of heavy fine and imprisonment. In Lodz, Vilna, 
Riga, Warsaw, and other Jewish centers, the performance 
of plays in Yiddish was prohibited and theatres closed. 

Letters from foreign countries to Russia, in any 
language except Yiddish were generally passed by the 
censor after scrutiny, but letters in Yiddish were as a rule 
not delivered at all. 

In July, 1915, the commander of the Russian forces 
issued the following absolute order: 

"On the basis of the power entrusted to me according to Para- 
graph 6, Article 415, Section 6, I prohibit postal and telegraph 
communications within the district occupied by the army entrusted 
to me, in the Jewish, German, and Hungarian languages.''! 



* -Retch/* May 8 (21), 1915. 

t *'£vTey8kaya Zhizn," July 19 (Aug. 2), 1916. p. 42. 



MILITARY CENSORSHIP 67 

By this order the Kussian government not only 
branded the entire Jewish people as spies and traitors, 
but also prevented hundreds of thousands of Jewish 
soldiers at the front from communicating with relatives 
and friends, because many of the soldiers had been pre- 
vented by educational restrictions from learning to read 
and write Russian. To the Jewish soldier unable to 
read or write was thus denied even that scant comfort 
which his Russian comrades might derive from the stereo- 
typed communications checked on the regulation postal 
card and mailed by field-post. 

At the beginning of the war the military censors as- 
siuned command of the entire press of Russia. That they 
used their power with the utmost unfairness against the 
Jewish press was charged without contradiction in the 
Duma by Professor Miliukov, Deputies Bomash, Sucha- 
nov aiid others, who pointed out that if the aim of the 
censor was to suppress every truth and encoiu*age 
every lie against the Jews, they could not possibly have 
pursued a more consistent policy. Deputy Bomash 
furnished the following concrete instances of perversion 
of facts by the censorship. 

1. It systematically expimged or mutilated 

the names of Jews to whom the cross of St. 

George had been awarded.* 



*Here is a list taken at random from an issue of "Ras- 
viet," April 5 (18), 1915, p. 34: 

For saving a wound^d Russian officer, presumably under 
fire, private B. M. O., of the village of Strumin, of Mohilef 
Government, was rewarded with the cross^of St. George, 
fourth class. 

Private S. Y. R. awarded cross of St. George, fourth 
class. 

Private A. Kh. L., inhabitant of the village of Saxagan, 
of the Government of Ekaterinoslav, was awarded third and 



THE JEWS IN THE EASTERN WAR ZONE 

2. When the Mayor of Petrograd congrat- 
ulated the Jewish community upon the heroic 
conduct of a lad of 13^ named Kaufman, the cen- 
sor suppressed the fact that Kaufman was a Jew, 
and that the conununity referred to was the 
Jewish community. 

3. Stories in the Russian press of the valor 
of Jews in the French armies are either sup- 
pressed or the Jewish names cut out. 

4. A news item referring to the fact that 
General Semenov, whom Jewish soldiers had 
saved from capture by the Germans, was treating 
Jews kindly was suppressed by the censor. 

5. Letters of regimental conunanders to the 
parents of Jewish hussars congratulating them 
on the valor of their sons, or notifying them of 
medals of honor bestowed upon them, were sup- 
pressed by the censor. 

6. The military censorship also suppressed 
news of an absolutely non-military nature, whenever 
it might in any manner have been construed as 
friendly to Jews. Thus, a news item referring to 
the non-sectarian activities of the National Relief 
Committee, headed by the Princess Tatyana, 
daughter of the Czar, was suppressed. A news 



fourth grade crosses of St. George, and promoted to be sub- 
officer.' 

For delivering despatches from the Staff to his battalion 
under the enemy's strong fire, private B. S. G. was awarded 
a medal of St. George and made a corporal. 

Severely wounded and now in a hospital at Moscow, 
Abr. B. was awarded a silver medal which was handed to him 
by Orloff, Adjutant to his Imperial Majesty. 

A long list of similar items is published in every issue of 
this paper. 



I 

MILITARY CENSORSHIP M 

item regarding the disapproval of the Council 
of Ministers of the policy of expelling Jews en 
masse and of wholesale charges of treachery 
was also suppressed. 

7. Even the official declaration of Count Bob- 
rinskiy Military-Governor of Galicia, referring 
to the correctness of the conduct of the Jews of 
GaUcia, was suppressed. 

8. But — outrageously false items published in 
the notoriously anti-Semitic papers were generally 
passed by the censor without hesitation. The 
"Novoe Vremya," the "Russkoe Znamya," and 
other anti-Semitic organs, systematically published 
reports of wholesale Jewish desertions, treachery, 
spying, etc., without at any time producii^ an 
iota of evidence. Thus, "Russkoe Znamya," de- 
clared that the loyalty of not a single Jewish 
soldier could be depended upon. The "Novoe 
Vremya" declared that the Jews were without 
exception embittered enemies of the Russian army, 
and that during the Japenese war 18,000 out 
of 27,000 soldiers voluntarily siurrendered as 
prisoners to the Japanese. Stories without name, 
date or place to the effect that small Polish boys 
warned the Russian soldiers to take nothing from 
Jews because everything they would furnish was 
poisoned were passed by the censor, and made 
much of by the press. The notorious Kuzhi 
canard was not only passed by the censor and 
printed m the official and semi-official press of 
Russia, but the censors even hinted to that section 
of the press which hesitated to publish a tale so 
manifestly absurd that future relations with the 
censorship might be imperilled if the story were 



00 THE JEWS IN THE EASTERN WAR ZONE 

not given proper publicity. Editors received a 
continuous stream of circulars forbidding the 
touching of questions which had absolutely no 
relation to the war. 

9. When the great writers and publicists of 
Russia decided that it would be desirable, for the 
honor of Russia, to speak a good word for the Jews 
and thereby indirectly deprecate before the world 
the merciless governmental policy, the pamphlet 
containing their symposium was suppressed by the 
military censor. Even the preliminary letter of 
inquiry sent out by these eminent Russians, 
soUciting information as to the participation of 
Jews in the war, was suppressed. The Jewish 
weekly, the "Novy Voskhod," was fined 2,000 
roubles and ultimately suppressed because of the 
publication of this letter. 

In spite of these suspensions, however, the six million 
Jews of Russia still continued, in a measure, to mform 
themselves as to the conduct of their sons in the field, 
and as to matters of Jewish interest m general, through 
the half dozen, or more, Jewish newspapers, which man- 
aged to struggle on in spite of the repeated fines and sus- 
pensions imposed by the censor. But on July 6, 1915, 
the entire Jewish press was suppressed. Lately several 
papers have been revived in new form, but today the Jews 
of Russia are practically in the dark. They have no 
effective means of communicating with one another or 
with the Russian public. They can neither prevent 
the instigation of calumnies nor refute them when 
spread abroad. They live in a constant state of terror 
lest some new Kuzhi slander set the country aflame 
against them. 



WHOLESALE EXPULSIONS ' 61 

WHOLESALE EXPULSIONS 

This public official distrust of the Jewish population 
of Russia increased with the Russian reverses, and the 
assumption by the authorities that the loyalty of all 
the Jews was open to suspicion gave added impetus to 
the spy mania, set the Jews apart as a dangerous people 
and delivered them helpless into the hands of the Cossack 
soldiery and the hostile Poles. The atrocities com- 
mitted upon the Jews in Poland and Galicia have already 
been referred to. But a more disastrous, though less 
spectacular, consequence of the governmental attitude 
towards the Jews was the systematic expulsion of the 
entire Jewish population from the war zone, an act 
which assumed the character of a merciless war by Russia 
upon its own population. 

From the very beginning of the war there were in- 
dividual cases of Jews, who, being suspected of bad faith, 
were ordered to leave a given locahty. There were also 
sporadic expulsions, or rather a forced exodus, of the 
entire civilian population of localities which the authori- 
ties desired to clear for military operations. But it was 
in March, 1915, that the authorities began systematically 
to expel Jews from all the Polish provinces, even those 
not occupied by German troopSi and from the govern-' 
ments of Kovno and Eurland, thus a£Fecting about 30 
per cent, of the entire Jewish population of the Empire. 
Even the Jewish deputy from the Kovno district, Fried- 
man, was expelled, in spite of his constitutional privileges 
as a member of the Duma. 

The first sufferers were the Jewish inhabitants of 
the smaller towns, because these were readily segregated. 
La a very brief space of time the region where the Jews 
constitute over eighty per cent, of the population of the 



62 THE JEWS IN THE EASTERN WAR ZONE 

small towns was absolutely denuded of Jewish inhab- 
itants.* It was only the rapid invasion of this terri- 
tory by the Germans which prevented the complete 
expulsion of every one of the two million or more Jews 
who inhabited this area. And those who have remained 
in this territory for the present have been promised, 
by decree of the supreme mUitary authorities of Russia, 
immediate expulsion as soon as the Russian troops regain 
a foothold here.f 

The enforcement of the expulsion orders was carried 
out ruthlessly. The time generally allowed was twenty- 
four hours, rarely forty-eight hours. The Jewish inhabi- 
tants of the governments of Kurland and Kovno were 
given from five to tvventy-four hours' notice. { 

The Jews of the city of Kovno were notified on the 
evening of May 3 (16) to leave not later than midnight 
of May 5 (18), 1915. 

Cruelty of Officials 

In a speech delivered in the Duma the non-Jewish 
deputy Dzubinsky declared: 

"As a representative of our 5th Siberian division I was myself 
on the scene and can testify with what incredible cruelty the expul- 
sion of the Jews from the Province of Radom took place. The 
whole population was driven out within a few hours during the 
night. At 11 o'clock the people were informed that they had to 
leave, with a threat that any one found at daybreak would be hanged. 
And so in the darkness of the night began the exodus of the Jews 
to the nearest town, Ilzha, thirty versts away. Old men, invalids 
and paraljrtics had to be carried on people's arms because there 
were no vehicles. 

<<The police and the gendarmes treat the Jewish refugees 
precisely like criminals. At one station, for instance, the Jewish 

* "Ziemia Lubelska," April 23 (May 6), 1915. 

t metoh/' May 10 (23), 1915. 

X **Evreiskaya Nedelya," June 14 (27), 1916. 



EXPULSIONS— CRUELTY OF OFFICLOS 63 

Commission of Homel was not even allowed to approach the trains 
to render aid to the refugees or to give them food and water. In 
one case a train which was conveying the victims was completely 
sealed and when finally opened most of the ixmiates were found 
half dead, sixteen down with scarlet fever and one with typhus. • • • 

*'In some places the Governors simply made sport of the inno- 
cent victims; among those who particularly distinguished them- 
selves were the governors of Poltava, Minsk, and Ekaterinoslav 
. . • who illegally took away the passports of the victims and 
substituted provisional certificates instructing them to appear 
at given places in one of five provinces at a given date. When 
they presented themselves at these designated places they were 
shuttled back and forth from point to point at the whim or caprice 
of local officials. 

«In Poltava the Jewish Relief Committee was offcially repri- 
manded by the governor for assuming the name 'Committee for 
the Aid of Jewish Sufferers from the War,' and ordered to rename 
itself 'Committee to Aid the Expelled' on the ground, as stated 
explicitly in the order, that the Jews had been expelled because 
they were politically unreliable — and, therefore, presumably, 
desdrved no help."* 

No distinction of age, sex or physical condition was 
made. As most of the able-bodied young men were at 
the front, those affected by the expulsions were the 
persons least able to bear up imder the suffering and 
privation entailed — old men and women, children, the 
sick from the hospitals, the insane from the asylums, 
even wounded and crippled Jewish soldiers — all were 
driven out en masse, without the slightest regard for 
human comfort or decency. Women m labor were given 
no consideration and many births occurred along the 
route. Mothers were separated from their children, 
entire families were broken up and dispersed all over 
Russia. The Jewish and liberal Russian press is filled 
with long lists of victims seeking their lost relatives. 
Where tra nsportation was provided, the exiles were 

♦ •'Evreyskaya Zhizn," Aug. 9, 1916, p. 19-20. 



64 THE JEWS IN THE EASTERN WAR ZONE 

packed in cattle-cars and forwarded to their destination 
on a way-bill, like so much freight. In many places 
thousands of them were forced for weeks at a time to stay 
in congested villages which were absolutely imable to 
afiford them a roof and shelter, or to sleep in the freight 
cars or in the open fields. And tens of thousands were 
forced to tramp weary distances along the open road, 
or, in the fear of the soldiery, to take to the back roads, 
the woods and swamps, there to die of himger and 
exposure. 

The total niunber of Jews who have been expelled to 
date is unknown. Expulsions are still going on. At the 
beginning of Jime, 1915, at the deliberation of the Petro- 
grad Central Committee for the Relief of Jewish War 
Sufferers, which was participated in by the most prom- 
inent provincial conmiittees, it was calculated that 
the total number of homeless Jews ruined by the ex- 
pulsion — ^in Poland and the northwestern district — is 
600,000 at the least.* After the Kovno-Kurland ex- 
pulsions there collected in the Vilna government alone 
some 200,000 exiles, f In Riga there gathered, by May 
18 (31), some 9,600 families or 42,000 persons.! Up to 
August 6, 1915, there collected in the government of 
Volhynia upwards of 250,000 refugees. § 

Hostages 

There is evidence to indicate that the Russian govern- 
ment, overwhelmed by the consequences of the expulsion 
policy, has suggested to the military authorities the 



♦ "Hajnt," May 21 (June 3). 1915. 
t "Evreyskaya Nedelya." May 31 (June 13). 1915. 
t "Evrej'skaya Nedelya," June 14 (27), 1916. 
§ "Retch," Auc 6 (19), 1915. 



EXPULSIONS— HOSTAGES 65 

advisability of repatriating the exiles; but these au- 
thorities have refused to consider the suggestion except 
on condition that the Jews voluntarily give hostages 
from among their own ranks, these hostages to include 
the Rabbi and other leading Jews. This proposal has 
been universally rejected by the Jews through their 
representative in the Duma, Deputy Friedman, in a 
letter to the President of the Council of Ministers: 

"As a deputy from the province of Kovno, from which I, to- 
gether with all other Jews, have now been expelled, I consider it 
my duty to call the attention of your excellency to the following: — 

''According to the latest decrees of the authorities the Jews 
who have been expelled from their homes are to be allowed to 
retiun on condition that they give hostages. This monstrous 
condition, which the government aims to impose upon its own 
subjects, the Jewish people will never accept. They prefer to 
wander about homeless and to die of starvation ra&er than to 
submit to demands which insult their self-respect as citizens 
and Jews. They have honestly performed their duty toward their 
country and will continue to do so to the very end. No sacrifices 
frighten them and no persecutions will make them swerve from 
the path of honor. But neither will any persecutions force them 
to accept a lie, to give testimony, through base submission, that 
the monstrous accusations against them are true. When the in- 
solent enemy threw down the gauntlet to Russia the Jews arose 
to shield their country with their breasts, and I had the honor 
to appear at the historic session of the Duma as their spokesman 
in the expression of this spontaneous, inspiring enthusiasm. The 
Jews gladly assumed all the sacrifices demanded of them by their 
comitry because of a feeling of duty to the land to which they 
are bound by century old, historic bonds, and also because of a 
sincere hope for a brighter future. And I may say with deep 
conviction that even now, after all that we have gone through, 
this sense of duty is as strong as ever. But with the very same 
deep conviction I consider it my right and my duty to declare that 
no privations will shake our firm conviction that as Russian subjects 
we cannot be made the victims of measures applicable only to 
enemies and traitors; that we consider ourselves and shaU never 



ee THE JEWS IN THE EASTERN WAR ZONE 

cease to consider ourselves above. all sospicion of treason to our 
duty and our vows* If the authorities really desire to return 
the Jewish people to the places from which they were driven away 
by order of the authorities they must take cogmzance of this feeling 
which I can testify under oath, on the basis of many conversations 
and observations, Is universal among us. This permission to re- 
turn under shameful conditions is only a new and senseless insult. 
So the entire Jewish population feels, and this feeling is shared 
by me, their representative." 



Misery of Refugees 

This sudden uprooting of an entire pA)ple from the 
land in which it has dwelt for centuries has brought 
irretrievable disaster to. the Jews of Poland and Russia. 
It has been estimated that nearly three of the six million 
Jews of Russia and Poland are now without means of 
support. 

Overwhelming and incalculable as the economic loss 
may be, the moral losses far exceed them in intensity. 
Jewish communal life is disrupted. Many of the cities 
and towns from which the expulsions took place were 
centers of Jewish culture. Most of the Jewish colleges 
and schools have been closed and many of the buildings 
and synagogues have been destroyed. It is safe to say 
that these losses cannot be repaired for generations to 
come. 

The demoralization and pauperization of the radividuiEil 
refugees is painfully noticeable everywhere. Beggary, 
which was practically unknown among the Jews, is now 
only too frequent. 

The appalling misery of the refugees is fully described 
in the appended report of the Russian Jewish Committee 
for the Relief of War Sufferers (see p. 98). The Jews 
of the Empire living outside of the war zone, have assumed 



UNFAIR ADMINISTRATION OF RELIEF 67 

a system of self-taxation which, added to their normal — 
or rather normally excessive-burden of taxation is 
practically unpoverishmg them. The small Jewish com- 
mmiity of Moscow alone gives about 85,000 roubles a 
month, ranging from an average of 200 roubles per 
month imposed upon 265 manufacturers down to the 10 
roubles per month imposed upon their poorest clerks. 
Other cities are contributmg m proportion but they 
cannot possibly keep pace with the ever-growing need. 

Unfair Administration of Relief 

And in the midst of this catastrophe the old struggle 
between the Poles and Jews has continued with unabated 
ferocity. The local relief committees refused to accept 
Jews as representatives, denied Jews any help whatsoever 
and even drove them away, by intimidation and force, 
from the relief stations supported by their own people. 
Of seventy-one relief committees operatmg m Poland, 
fifty-two contained no Jewish members, although the 
Jews constituted nearly one-half of the urban population 
and thirteen to fourteen per cent, of the rural population 
in these places. In the other nineteen committees the 
Jewish membership constituted scarcely ten per cent, 
of the total, although the Jewish population ran from 
thirty-five to sixty-eight per cent, of the total popula- 
tion in the cities and from ten to fifteen per cent, in the 
rural districts.'*' And in most of these places the Jews 
had contributed the major part of the relief funds. 
Even institutions supported solely by Jewish contributions 
were expropriated by the Poles. 

Thus ''the magnificently equipped Hospital for the 
Wounded, in Warsaw, created at the expense of the 

♦ "RasvieV January 4 (17), 1915, p. 31-2. 



68 THE JEWS IN THE EASTERN WAR ZONE 

Jewish Kehillah, which had refitted the Roman Hotel 
for the purpose, has been running until now under the 
official name of the Warsaw Local Relief Committee. 
But this has turned out to be an anti-Semite organization 
without a single Jewish representative, its board being 
made up of rabid Judeophobes, who feel no scruples in 
the methods and means of their anti-Jewish policy. 
Private donations, the personal labor of Jews — all this 
has gone into Polish institutions, all this has disappeared 
in the Polish river-bed," declares "Novy Voskhod," 
Sept. 11 (24), 1914. 

The present attitude of the Jews of Russia toward this 
problem is well reflected in a letter, published in a recent 
issue of "Evreyskaya Zhizn,"* from a Jew, the owner 
of a salt mine, who had been mvited, among others, to 
contribute salt for the poorer people of Warsaw, without 
distinction of race or creed. He replied, in effect, that 
the proposal met with his deepest sympathy, but he took 
the liberty of inquiring as to who would have charge of 
the distribution of the salt. "Everybody knows," he 
wrote, "the intolerant attitude of the Polish Relief 
Committee toward the Jews. This makes us doubt 
whether your high principle would be carried out con- 
scientiously if administered by Polish hands. The War- 
saw Committee is particularly distrusted, and it would 
be extremely unpleasant for me to feel that the neces- 
saries that we contributed should be withheld from our 
own fellow Jews. On the other hand, we would welcome 
gladly every effort on the part of Russian organizations 
to undertake to cooperate with Poles and Jews in this 
matter to insure an equitable distribution." 

When the Central Citizens' Committee of Warsaw 
was dissolved by the German governor of Poland, in 

* July 6 (18), 1915, pp. 30-31. 



UNFAIR ADMINISTRATION OF RELIEF 69 

September, 1915, its accounts showed that it had dis- 
tributed over eleven million roubles ($5,500,000) since 
the outbreak of the war, of which the Jews received 
scarcely 100,000| although they constitute one-sixth of 
the population and the funds had been gathered with 
the express understanding that the distribution be ab- 
solutely without discrimination between Poles and Jews. 
The Liquidation Commission which disposed of the 
balance on hand at the time of the di^olution of the 
Central Committee — some 1,290,000 roubles — ^allotted it 
all to Polish institutions. Although there are 300,000 
Jews in Warsaw, the majority of them in dire need, 
not a rouble was offered for their relief. 

Finally it must be noted that the occupation of 
Poland by the German forces has afforded little relief 
to the Jews, as the scarcity of food in Germany pre- 
cludes the shipment of any considerable quantities of 
provisions to ameliorate the distress of the starving 
Jews of Poland. 



70 THE JEWS IN THE EASTERN WAR ZONE 



PROTESTS OF LIBERAL RUSSIA 

The cruelty of the government's policy toward the 
Jews has not received the support of the Russian people, 
as the numerous protests uttered in the Duma, in public 
assemblies and in the press clearly indicate. When it 
is remembered that those non-Jews who, in Russia, dare 
to utter a word in favor of the despised Jews, risk their 
position and prestige to a degree unparalleled in any 
other coimtry, the following calendar of protests and 
manifestoes constitutes a body of evidence against the 
Russian government which must compel conviction. 

These protests have been grouped, for convenience, 
into four classes: 

THE VOICE OF THE DUMA 

Early in the session of the Duma the Left groups 
proposed an interpellation of the Government with respect 
to its illegal acts against the Jews. After some debate 
the proposed questions were referred to the Conmiittee 
on Interpellations, which reported them out, on August 
30, 1915, in this form: 

I. Do the president of the Coimcil of Ministers 
and the Ministers of the Interior and Justice 
know of the illegal conduct of their adminis- 
trative officers with respect to the following: 

1. That officers of the prison administration 
received persons taken by the military authorities 
as hostages from the local Jewish population of 
Rigai Prushkov • . • etc.? 

2. That the prosecuting attorneys took no 
steps to obtain the immediate release of these 



THE PEOPLE VS. THE GOVERNMENT 71 

personSi accused of no crime and illegally im- 
prisoned? 

3. That the expelled were driven by agents of 
the police in Vilikomiry Zhagoiy and Shadov into 
frei^t cars inadequate for the accommodation of 
one-tenth of them, and that the remainder, in- 
cluding children, aged men and women, and 
invalids were compelled to follow afoot? 

4. That the officers of the local governments 
took no steps to check the repeated robberies by the 
local population of the property left by the exiles? 

5. That the officers of the Gendarmerie of 
Home! prohibited the supplying of food to the 
exiles, even tiiough they were at the point of ex- 
haustion from hunger and tliirst? 

6. That in Novozybkov individuals who sent 
telegrams appealing for help were arrested? 

7. That the officers of the Gendarmerie, with 
armed threats, refused to admit to sealed cars 
persons who brought food to the expelled at 
the station of Bielitsa, on the Poliess railroad? 

8. That the police officers locked the exiles in 
sealed cars for several days at a time? 

9. That in the shipment of these exiles from 
Zolotonosh to Eovno and back some of them were 
kept in the cars ten days? 

10. That the local government administration 
of the cities of Minsk, Samara and Rostov re- 
quired the reprinting in the local paper of the 
story of Jewish treason in the village of Euzhi, 
first published in '^Nash Viestnik"? 

11. That the local administration of Tashkent 
ordered prayer for the delivery of the army from 
the treachery of the Jews? 



72 THE JEWS IN THE EASTERN WAR ZONE 

II. If the illegal ^acts of the authorities are 
known to the indicated mdividuals what steps 
were taken by them towards the punishment of 
the guilty and the prevention of similar breaches 
of law in the future? 

The significance of this interpellation cannot be 
overestimated, insofar as the facts implied in these 
questions are oflScially accepted by the great standing 
conmiittee of the Duma as worthy of cognizance. Had. 
the questions originally proposed by the Left groups 
been without foimdation they would have been rejected 
without reference to the Conmiittee on Interpellations; 
and had the Committee on Interpellations found, upon 
examination of the evidence imderlying each question 
by both the Right and Left deputies on the Committee, 
that the evidence was defective or inadequate, the in- 
terpellation would never have been reported out in this 
form. . The fact that it was so reported indicates 
that the evidence was incontrovertiblei and was so 
accepted by the Liberals and reactionaries alike. The 
report of the Committee is dated August 30, 1915, but 
as the Duma was prorogued immediately afterwards, 
the Government's answer to the interpellation is not known. 

In the course of the debates on these and other 
questions affecting the Jews the expressed attitude of 
the representatives of the great bulk of the Russian 
population left no doubt of their absolute opposition 
to the Government on the Jewish question.* 

Professor Miliukov, the leader of the Constitutional 
Democrats, declared on July 19 (August 1), 1915: 

The strongest factor in the disruption of our national unity 
was the government's policy toward our alien subjects. The foul 



* Stenographic report of the Proceedings of the Duma. 



VOICE OF THE DUMA 73 

play upon the obscure racial prejudices of the masses, with the 
customary weapon of this kind of strife — anti-Semitism and the 
persecution of all dissenting nationalities or religions — has been 
exercised with unparalleled effrontery. Under the mask of mili- 
tary precaution, measures worse than credible are taken against 
crimes that are imaginary. • . • At a time when nations are 
struggling for the liberties and rights of smaU peoples, such terrible 
deeds embitter our friends and evoke joy among our enemies." 
(Loud applause from the left.) 

Deputy Kerensky. "We are fighting this war in a territory 
occupied by non-Russian nationalities. But did not our govern- 
ment, this very year, cause these peoples to doubt the wisdom of 
the path they took a year ago, when they linked their destiny with 
ours?" 

Deputy Tchkheidze. Aug. 3 (16) , 1915 : "It is well known to you 
that the Government regime has been based on Jewish oppression 
and that at all critical moments it aimed its blows first of all at the 
JewS| because they were in the line of least resistance. • • • 

"A year ago the war began and at once accusations of treachery 
against the Jews were started by the Government. To-day Russia 
and the whole world knows who is to blame for the condition in 
which Russia found herself. The guilty ones were not at all the 
Jews, as the whole country will confirm, but those who stuffed their 
pockets with the money which: they made on Government orders 
for army supplies (shouts from the left: "That's true!") The 
guilty ones were those who, with the aid of men Hke Myasoyodyeff, 
Grotgus and other traitors, betrayed Russia. . . • 

"This is supposed to be a war for liberty, fraternity, and equality, 
but what justice is there in making a whole nation answer for the 
crimes of individuals, granting that there are any? 

^In the name of what truth is the Kuzhi slander being published 
in the 'Pravitelstvenny Viestnik?' 

''In the name of what truth are the various periodical publi- 
cations ordered to reprint this communication under penalty of a 
fine? 

''What justice demands that a Jewish voltmteer who has several 
times been wounded be expelled within twenty-four hours when 
he tries to find a place in Russia to recover from his wounds? 

"In the name of what htunanity is it forbidden to hand food to 
starving Jewish refugees cooped up in freight trains? In the name 



74 THE JEWS IN THE EASTERN WAR ZONE 

of what brotherhood is one part of the army aroused against the 
Jewish soldiers who are in the trenches side by side with our own 
soldiers? 

'*We accuse the Germans of breaking the laws of warfare, of 
using poison gases and mutilating prisoners. Such acts can call 
forth only indignation and protest. Let these acts be a stain upon 
the ruling classes of Germany. But, gentlemen, in the name of 
what laws of humamty are orders issued to the Russian army to 
drive peaceful Jews ahead of the troops and to expose them to 
fire? 

^In the name of what laws of humanity are Jewish-Russian 
subjects taken as hostages and put into prisons and tortured and 
shot? 

^'We denounced the Germans for having destroyed Louvain 
and the Cathedral of Rheims; but I ask you in the name of what 
ethical or esthetic principles is a Jewish woman who seeks refuge 
in the synagogue violated?" 

Baron Rosen, fonner Russian Ambassador to the 
United States, also protested outspokenly against the 
continuation of. the anti-Jewish policy of the Government 
in a speech before the Council of the Empire, Aug. 22 
(Sept. 4), 1915. (See Appendix, p. 117.) 



RESOLUTIONS OF CONSTITUTIONAL DEMOCRATIC 

PARTY 

The leading political party of Russia — ^the Constitu- 
tional Democratic Party — officially voiced its sentiments 
on the Jewish question at a national convention of the 
Party, held at Petrograd on June 19-21 (0. S. June 6-8), 
1915, at which the Central Committee of the Party 
submitted a comprehensive report which was adopted 
unanimously, and which, summarized in the form of a 
resolution, was ordered published. This resolution, after 
citing the loyalty and patriotism of the Jews at the out- 
break of the war, continues: 



PROTESTS OF LIBERAL RUSSIA 75 

I \ 

'This intense spirit of patriotism manifested 
by the Jews in the hour of Russia's danger seemed 
for a time to have broken down the rooted prej- 
udices of the Government and to have cleared 
the way for the recognition in Russia, of that 
civic equality which is accorded the Jews through- 
out the civilized world. But this would have de- 
prived our reactionaries, those champions of an 
outlived past, of their old and well-tested weapon 
of black demagoguery — anti-Semitism. And so we 
see that under the direct influence of these noto- 
rious Jew-baiters measures were early adopted by 
the Government to set the army and the people 
against the Jews. Every advantage was taken 
of the exigencies of war. Isolated cases of es- 
pionage, likely to occur among the border popula- 
tions of all nations, were seized upon as a basis for 
universal accusations and furnished the occasion 
for the invention of incredible myths and rumors 
circulated exclusively to the injury of the 
Jews. . . . The Jews have been held col- 
lectively responsible for the acts of mdividuals 
among them — a policy which outrages the most 
elementary sense of justice, a policy which is no 
longer sanctioned by the laws of any civilized 
land, a monstrous survival of the remote 
past. . • . Needless to mention the spread of 
discord and hatred, the growth of mutual suspicion 
and distrust among the races inhabitating Russia 
which must of necessity follow such a policy. . . • . 

^'Not only in the name of brotherhood; not 
only in the name of that harmony so necessary 
where different nationalities are fated to live 
tmder the shelter of a common government; not 



76 THE JEWS IN THE EASTERN WAR ZONE 

only for the sake of keeping afive among fhe 
Jewish people, now being driven to despair, some 
hope of a brighter future, and some faith in that 
progress of which they have ever been the valiant 
champions, but also for the sake of the attainment 
of that ideal of the Russian people — ^the elevation 
of our beloved Fatherland to the status of a truly 
enlightened empire — must we offer united opposi- 
tion against the forces of reaction. • • • Our 
adversaries hope to continue, even after the war, 
to use the poisoned weapon of primitive race 
hatred which they have used until now. It is our 
task to demonstrate to tbe masses of the people 
that they are again being duped, that their base 
passions are now being aroused in order to dis- 
tract their attention from their own vital interests. 
We must continue, as before, to point out, firmly 
and persistently, that there is only one path to 
a brighter future for Russia, the same path along 
which the entire civilized world has traveled, 
and that along this road there is only one solution 
of the Jewish question — a solution demanded by 
the most elementary principles of civilized govern- 
ment — ^and that is to grant them, as individuals, 
full civic rights, and as a people, the right to free 
racial and cultural self-development." 

A striking incident occurred during the debate upon 
this resolution. One of the leaders of the party, Maklakov, 
a brother of the former Minister of the Interior, advanced 
a plea in extenuation of the alleged Jewish treacheries. 

"The Jews have suffered such cruel persecutions in 
Russia," he remarked, "that they might well be excused 
even if these spy stories were foimd to be true." 



PROTESTS OF LIBERAL RUSSIA 77 

'^e Spurn this right to baseness," cried out former 
deputy Vinaver, a Jew. "Our loyalty is not for sale. 
We are not newcomers here. Our ancestors have lived 
here for hundreds of years. We are patriots because 
we feel ourselves bound to Russia. We believe in Russia 
even more than you do.'' 

PROTESTS OF PUBLIC OFFICIALS, CITIES, ETC. 

Various municipalities outside the Pale have peti- 
tioned the government to give equal rights to the Jews. 

The Municipal Coimcil of Smolensk, at its session of 
December 19, 1914 (January 1, 1915), passed a resolution, 
with only two dissenting votes, petitioning the govern- 
ment "to abolish all measures which restrict the rights 
of Russian subjects of the Jewish faith, and, in particular, 
to abolish the Pale of Settlement." At this session 
Councillor P. V. Mikhailofif said: 

"We are referring not only to those families of Jewish soldiers 
at the front, to families fleeing from devastated Poland, but even 
to the soldiers themselves who are placed kors de combat because 
of their wounds, after having valiantly served in our ranks. 
Thus, for example, a Jewish soldier woimded in the hand and 
in the breast, having parents in this city, obtained permission 
only with the utmost difficulty to stay here three months. At the 
end of this period he must go back to the Pale and live there without 
means or medical attention, although he is threatened with tuber- 
culosis. . . • This is merely one case in thousands which 
prove to us the horrors of the situation in which Jewish soldiers 
and their families are placed because of their deprivation of civic 
rights. Those families whose members have shed their blood 
for Russia are ruined by the invasion of the enemy. They arrive 
here to find a refuge from starvation and death, from ruin and 
violation. We must remember that nearly a half million Jews 
are fighting side by side with oiu* brave warriors against the common 
enemy. As to the civilian Jews, they have no less patriotism or 
enthusiasm than the other inhabitants. . . . His Majesty, 



78 THE JEWS IN THE EASTERN WAR ZONE 

the Emperor, in passing through Lublin, Grodno, and Tiflis, has 
deigned to express his thanks to the Jews for their faithfuhiess 
to our common country. The conclusion from this is clear: There 
is no serious reason to maintain any longer those measures of 
restriction so futile and so pernicious and so malevolent. • • . 
But the Jewish question is not merely a question of abstract 
justice* The economic and moral development of our ^tj life 
is seriously retarded by the restrictions placed upon one part 
of the population. . . ."* 

In August, 1914, a meeting of municipality, Zemstvo, 
Stock Exchange, and University officials and merchants, 
at Odessa, resolved that the country would benefit by 
the abolition of all repressive laws and the opening of 
educational institutions to all citizens, t 

In August, 1914, the Moscow Conference of Mayors 
also forcibly condemned the expulsion policy of some 
governors and resolved to use its influence to ameliorate 
the position of the Jews.t 

So also the Congress of Delegates from cities of 
Western Siberia petitioned for the abolition of all Jewish 
disabilities. § 

Within the past few months the municipalities of 
Samara, Saratov, Ekaterinoslav and other important 
centers; the Siberian Municipal Conference, and the 
Conference of twenty Zemstvos held at Yaroslavl, all 
petitioned the government and the Diuna to remove the 
disabilities affecting the Jews of Russia. 

PROTESTS OF TRADE AND PROFESSIONAL ORGAIOZA- 

TIONS 

The Military-Industrial Conmiittee, organized in May, 
1915, to integrate the economic resources of the country 
on a war basis, met on August 25, 1915, and condemned 

• "Novy Voskhod," Deo. 30, 1914 (Jan. 12, 1^16), p. 22-24. 

t ••Novy Voakhod," Sept. 4, 1914, p. 16. 

X "Novy Voskhod," Aug. 14 (27). 1914, p. 24-25. 

S "Novy Voekhod," April 24 (May 7), 1915. p. 30. 



PROTESTS OF LIBERAL RUSSIA 79 

the incompetence of the government openly. In his 
presidential address P. P. Riabushinski deplored the 
tardiness of the government in calling upon the social 
forces of the country. "This leadership of the country 
has been attempted by persons incapable of leadership, 
and it is now evident to everybody that a new personnel 
is needed within the government • • • We have 
observed the workings of the government departments 
from the very beginning of the war, and have come to 
the conclusion that these departments are imable to cope 
with the situation. The supply of war material is al- 
together imorganized, as the army well knows. . . . 
The government will from now on transfer to us more 
and more of its functions. But the longer this is deferred 
the less benefit will result. • • • This work cannot 
be done through a poorly organized government. . . . 
The State is a huge business enterprise, whose parts 
must work harmoniously. . . . The war has now 
changed from a struggle of will and spirit into a struggle 
of machinery. Therefore, the persons entrusted with 
the defense of the country must know the coimtry. • . • 
It cannot be denied that Russia is at the present moment 
facing a great danger, and we fear that the time may 
come when our courage will sink. . . . (censored). 
Our army is suffering heroically. . . . (censored). We 
know that after a while, with the war continuing in the 
same poor fashion as at present,' the government will 
be ready to meet us half-way, but we also know by 
experience that it will then be too late and even the very 
best man called by the government will be unable to 
accomplish anything." 

This address was met with thunderous applause. 
Another speaker, Prof. E. L. Zubashov, referring to the 
Jews, declared that: ^'The sons of the Jewish nation 



80 THE JEWS IN THE EASTERN WAR ZONE 

are now fighting side by side with the Russians for their 
country. Unfortunately this country has until now been 
only a step-mother to them. Let us express the hope 
that it may now become a mother to them." He there- 
fore proposed a resolution favoring the abolition of all 
restrictive laws against the Jews. His proposal was met 
with prolonged applause and was accepted by the con- 
vention.* 

At a meeting of the Free Economic Society — ^the 
foremost economic organization of Russia — on January 
16, 1915, the following resolution was adopted iman- 
imously: 

''The Commission • • • has taken into account the excep- 
tionally difficult position in which the Jewish population finds 
itself, in view of the residence restrictions to which they are subject. 

''While they are suffering aU the teirors of war together with 
the rest of the population, the Jewish population, being mainly 
urban, has suffered particularly from the general disorganization 
of economic relations not only within the immediate region of 
military activities, but far beyond. 

"Under these conditions it would be a great relief to the suffering 
population if measures were adopted which would make it easier 
for them to move about in search of work. In view of the size 
of our country and the unlimited economic resources of its regions, 
especially those of the interior, have hardly been touched by the 
miseries of war. There are regions in the interior of Russia where 
economic conditions have even improved somewhat, since they 
have assumed many of the industries abandoned in Poland, and 
since the commissary department placed large orders here. 

"At the same time the Jewish population is even at this excep- 
tional time artificially confined to the cities of Poland and the 
western provinces by force of existing* legal limitations which in- 
creases the hardships of war for them. If in time of peace these 
restrictions, which are economically harmful and morally degrading, 
are recognized as a relic of barbarism that must be abolished, it 



* "Retch." July 28 (Aug. 10), 1915; '*BirsheyyU Viedomosti/' Aug. 26 
(Sept. 8), 1915. 



FROTESTS OF LIBERAL RUSSIA 81 

is all the more difficult to reconcile ourselves wi^ thein at the 
present time, when himdreds and thousands of Jews serve imder 
the Russian baxmers on the battlefield. 

In view of these facts the Commission has decided to request the 
Council of the Free Economic Society to communicate with the 
government and members of the society who are members of the 
legislative bodies: — 

«To immediately stop the functioning of all restrictive laws 
relating to the Settlement rights of Jews, and 

''To abolish them immediately and permanently by legislative 
enactment."* 

Numerous commercial and technical associations have 
passed resolutions declaring that the main cause of 
Russia's economic backwardness lay in the restrictions 
placed upon Jews, and that the sole means of combating 
German predominance over Russian mdustry and trade 
is through the abolition of these restrictions. Among 
these organizations are the national grain, lumber, fur 
and gold trades; the Chambers of Commerce of Moscow, 
Petrograd and the leading cities of Russia and Siberia, 
and the national Congress of Bourses; the Russo-American 
Chamber of Commerce, etc. Practically every national 
convention of every industry has petitioned the govern- 
ment to liberate the economic talents of the Jews by the 
removal of all legal restrictions. 

PROTESTS OF RUSSIAN WRITERS AND PUBLICISTS 

Just as the commercial and industrial elements of 
Russia demand equality for the Jews on economic grounds, 
so the intellectual elements of Russia demand it on broad 
human grounds. 

The great manifesto issued at the beginning of the 
war by 225 of the leading publicists and writers of Russia, 
declares: 



♦ ••Raeviet", Jan. 26 (Feb. 7). 1916. 



82 THE JEWS IN THE EASTERN WAR ZONE 

^'Russia, in the present great war, is straining all her physical 
and intellectual forces to an extraordinary degree. All the peoples 
of Russia are taking part in the war, sharing equally in all the labors. 
We believe that the blood of the fighters is not being shed in vain. 
We believe that after having borne the horrors of the war, the 
population will return with increased energy to the work of building 
for a better and brighter future. This we believe, and we hope 
that the relations between the different peoples that inhabit Russia 
will be built up in the future on the eternal foundations of wisdom 
and justice. 

"But at this moment, so important in history, we see with 
sorrow and consternation that to the sufferings of one of the nation- 
alities inhabiting Russia new distress and new vexations are added. 
The limitation of the right of education is now felt with particular 
pain by the Jewish youth. As the Western frontiers are closed 
the usual exodus to the foreign schools is checked, while in Russia 
itself the percentage limitations against the Jews in the schools 
are maintained in force. The Jews of the destroyed towns have 
no right to leave the Pale of Settlement, a measuris which often 
leads to a disintegration and a division of members of families, 
wives and children of wounded soldiers not being allowed to visit 
their husbands and fathers, and being at the same time exposed 
to aU sorts of chicanery. The sorely-tried Jewish nation which 
has given to the world such precious contributions in the domain 
of religion, of philosophy, of poetry; which has always shared the 
travails and trials of Russian Ufr; which has been hurt so often 
by prejudice and insult; which more than once has proven its love 
for Russia, and its devotion to her cause, is now again exposed to 
unjust accusations and persecutions. 

''The Russian Jews, who are industriously working with us 
in all spheres of labor and activity that are accessible to them, 
have given so many convincing proofs of their sincere desire to be 
with us, to render service to our cause . . . that the limitation 
of their right of citizenship is not only a crying injustice, but also 
reacts injuriously upon the very interests of the State. The Russian 
Empire can, and must, draw its strength from the complete union 
of SkU the nationalities inhabiting Russia, and only by the placing 
of all citizens upon an equal footing will the power of Rusda become 
indestructible. 

''Russians, let us remember that the Russian Jew hag no other 
country than Russia, and that nodiing is dearer to a man tilian 



PROTESTS OF LIBERAL RUSSIA ^ 

tbe soil on which he is bom. Let us understand that tiie pros- 
perity and power of Russia are inseparable from the well-being and 
the liberty of all the nationalities which constitute its vast Empire. 
Let us tf^derstand this truth, act according to our intelligence and 
our conscience, and we may be certain that the ultimate disappear- 
ance of persecutions against the Jews and their complete emanci- 
pation will form one of the conditions of a truly constructiye 
imperial regime." 



AUSTRIA-HUNGARY 

The total estimated Jewish population of Austria- 
Hungary is about 2,250,000, of which neariy one miUion 
were, at the beginnmg of the war, in the border provmce of 
Galicia, in the immediate area of hostilities. 

Here, as elsewhere, the Jews manifested their keen 
loyalty by trooping to the colors even when they were 
normally exempt, as in the case of the students of the 
Budapest Rabbinical Seminary, many of whom volim- 
teered, although not required to do so. The Government 
recognized this loyalty in many ways, particularly in 
the granting of special privileges with respect to the 
observances required by the Jewish religious ritual. 
Thus the Emperor, in his own name, sent 20,000 Tallithim 
(prayer shawls) for the soldiers in the field dming the 
hoUdays. When, at Passover, it was discovered that 
the matzoths for the Jewish troops had been improperly 
prepared, the Government, at the instance of the Chief 
Rabbi of Vienna, authorized the wholesale distribution 
of potatoes to Orthodox Jews. 

Hundreds of Jewish soldiers have been decorated on 
the field of battle, and many were given officers' com- 
missions. 

GALICIA 

It was the million Jews of Galicia who were made to 
feel the full burden of the war. Although their economic 
condition before the war was greatly inferior to that 
of the general population, their poUtical condition was 
one of equality. But the Russian invasion of Galicia, 
in September, 1914, changed their status overnight. 

84 



GAUCIA 85 

The Russian Governor-General, Count Bobrinski, a 
notorious anti-Semite, found the political status of the 
Jews in Galicia most abhorrent to him. He at once 
proceeded to degrade them to the status of the 
Russian Jews, and, if possible, still lower. He proposed 
to his home Government that all Jewish landed property 
m Galicia be confiscated and the Jews be forbidden to own, 
lease or rent land; and this, he added, was an imme- 
diately imperative step, to be carried out even before 
the formal annexation of Galicia was annoimcedl 

On February 13, 1915, the Grand Duke Nicholas 
issued an order declaring that "in view of the increase 
of spying on the part of the Jews, it is decreed that: 

1. No person of Jewish nationality may enter Galicia. 

2. No persons of Jewish nationality may pass from one district 

of Galicia into another. 

3. Infractions of this decree will be punished by a fine of three 

thousand roubles ($1,500) or by three months' imprison- 
ment.* 

The spirit of these documents, communicated to the 
troops, produced a series of outrages against the Jewish 
population more horrible even than any perpetrated 
in Russia. As each town was invaded by the Russians 
the troops first sought the Jewish quarters, and here 
they let themselves loose in an orgy of pillage, sack and 
rapine. 

In the town of Bohorodczany there appeared, in Jan- 
uary, 1915, a detachment of Austro-PoUsh troops. They 
demanded food and quarters and were, of course, sup- 
plied. After a brief stay they departed. But the act 
of the Jews was reported to the Russian commander in 
Stanislau. He immediately sent a "pimitive" expedition 
of four hundred Cossacks to the town. They set the 



* "Prikarpatakia Ruas". 



86 THE JEWS IN THE EASTERN WAR ZONE 

town on fire, routed out the Jewish women and girls 
from their places of concealment, assembled them in 
the square and there held an orgy under the open sky. 
After their lusts were satisfied they drove the victims 
under the crack of the whip, half naked and starving, 
along the roads to Stanislau. One woman, who had 
risen from childbirth only a few days before, died on 
the way. One of the physicians of Stanislau, Dr. B., 
testifies that he alone treated ten cases of women and 
girls who had been violated. * 

In Szczerzec, Galicia, the Russian soldiers caught 
one Jacob Mischel, a town councillor, poured oil over 
hun and burned him alive.t 

In Dembica, Cossacks raided a synagogue to which 
the Jews had fled for refuge and prayer, robbed and 
imprisoned the men, and outraged the women. Those 
who escaped through the windows were caught by the 
guards below and men and women were knouted to death. 
Then the troops set fire to the synagogue, t 

These are typical cases of outrages perpetrated against 
tha Jewish population of Galicia. Scarcely a town in 
the line of invasion escaped. The Jewish population fled 
before the invaders in vast numbers. 

There are about 176,000 Jewish refugees in Vienna; 
70,000 of these are destitute. There are about 70,000 
living in barracks in Bohemia; 8,000 of these are in Prague. 
There were about 52,000 in Budapest. All fugitives who 
have settled in Hungary, however, have been removed 
to Austria proper. Dr. J. Bloch of Vienna, estimates 
that the total number of Jewish refugees from Galicia 
is about half a million. The situation of these refugees 



* "JudiBohes Arohiv/' p. A. 
f •'Judiflches Arohiv/' p. 6. 
t "Judisohea Arohiy/' p. 10. 



GAUGIA 87 

is somewhat better than that of the Jewish refugees io 
Russia, inasmuch as the Government has placed them 
in concentration camps, attends to their minimum wants 
and gives each one an allowance of 70 heller (14 cents) 
daily. With the rise in the prices of food, the daily 
allowance has risen to about 90 heller (18 cents) per 
capita. They are treated well by the population, and 
in many cases are provided with some work. 



ROUMANIA 

The future of Roumania is of interest to the Jews 
for two especial reasons: first, because the Jews of 
Roumania are deprived of their rights as citizens in 
contravention of a solemn promise made by Romnania 
to the Great Powers at the Berlin Congress in 1878; 
secondly, because it will no doubt be Roumanians aim 
to win back from Austria-Hungary certain large terri- 
tories, including Transylvania and Bukowina, in which 
the bulk of the population is of Romnanian descent, 
thus, if successful, incidentally, increasing the nmnber 
of Jews under Roumanian rule from about 250,000 to 
more than one milUon. 

During the present war Roumania has given evidence 
of its hostile attitude towards the Jews. Thousands of 
Jewish refugees who fled before the savagery of the 
Russian army which invaded Bukowina, sought refuge 
in Roimiania. These were treated with great brutality 
by Roumanian officials in the border towns. At the begin- 
ning of July, 1915, the Government issued an order to 
the administrative authorities of all the districts bordering 
on Austria-Hungary to expel all the Jews from the locali- 
ties near the frontier, and to send them to the incerior 
of the country. The officials took advantage of this edict 
to expel not only the refugees, but also hundreds of 
Jewish citizens of Romnania who had been living in the 
border towns for generations. The order of expulsion 
was executed summarily, and the Jews were forced to 
leave within forty-eight and in some cases with all their 
goods in twenty-four hours. As a rule, they were not 
permitted to take their belongings with them, and even 

89 



90 THE JEWS IN THE EASTERN WAR ZONE 

under the most favorable circumstances they had perforce 
to leave them behind because they knew neither their 
destination nor their fate. 

This actioi;! of the Government caused a gHeat deal of 
adverse conmient in the press. "Vitorul" the oflScial 
organ of the Liberal Party, now in power, met these 
attacks, in its issue of July 12, 1915, as follows: 

''Some of the newspapers pretend that the Ministry of Internal 
Affairs has given orders that the native-bom Jews established in 
the towns bordering upon the northern frontier of Moldavia be 
sent into the interior of the country. This news is inexact. The 
Minister of Internal Affairs was not aiming at the Jews established 
in. the towns near the frontier or in any other place when he issued 
his order of expulsion. The order given by the Minister of Internal 
Affairs concerns only the alien subjects of a foreign country, and the 
native-bom Jews who, though not living in frontier towns go there 
on business, acting as cereal brokers. And the purpose of the order 
is to prevent such people from committing acts dangerous to the 
interests of the population of the state. The peaceful Jewish 
population living near the frontier is not the object of any hounding, 
as the irresponsible newspapers would have it.'' 

The Bucharest "Adeverul" (Truth), an independent 
organ, and one of the two newspapers in Bucharest which 
sympathize with the Jews, replied: 

"In answer to the attacks of the Government organ upon 
the 'irresponsible' newspapers, we are in a position to publish a 
list of the 'peaceful Jewish population' which has been the subject 
of the most terrible persecutions by the authorities. We can give 
the names of the reserves, mobilized at the very moment, whose 
children have been driven from their homes. It is possible that 
the Minister of Internal Affairs did not mean to 'aim,' as the official 
organ says, at the Jews. If the Minister is innocent of the charge, 
we would like to know what punishment to inflict upon his sub- 
ordinates who wilfully misrepresented his order. 

"But it is not we who are irresponsible. It is the Government 
that tries to mislead the public with ambiguous statements. It says 
that the order referred only to the brokers, who may bommit dan- 



ROUMANIA 91 

gerous acts. We know that tlie law punishes crimes and delm- 
quencies which have been committed, but does not anticipate crimes 
that may be committed. Then again, the law provides strict 
punishment for each delinquency and not a general and preventive 
punishment, such as deportation. Why is it that those who have 
committed the infraction have not been arrested and peaceful 
people are being punished instead? 

"Even the Government recognizes that this preventive punish- 
ment is applied to the alien and such Jews as are only doing business 
though not living in those places. It means that the suspicion 
rests equally upon the alien and the Roumanian Jew, because the 
Jew, although not an alien, is of another religion. The suspicion 
then falls upon all the native-bom Jews. Thus we see, that even 
if the official organ's pubUc interpretation of the law be correct, 
it is still the Jews who wiU suffer. But we cannot accept the 
explanation. It is false. 

"It is an absolute fact that not transient traders but people 
who are innocent, who are paying taxes in those localities have 
been expelled." 

It is idle to speculate as to what Roumania may do if 
she becomes involved in the war. But it is well to consider 
whether, if she does not become involved, it will be possible 
to bring to the attention of the belligerent powers at a 
future peace conference the question of the status of the 
Jews of Roumania. These are in the anamolous position 
of people virtually without a country. They are subjects 
of Roiunania, pay taxes and support the Government. 
But even the native-bom and those whose parents and 
grandparents were native-bom subjects of Roumania, 
cannot become citizens, and are also discriminated against 
by the Government. In this respect, Roumania may be 
called "Little Russia." 

The situation of Romnania as a nation is exceptional. 
She was made an independent coimtiy by the European 
Powers, meeting at the Congress of Berlin, after the 
Russo-Turkish War of 1877-8. In a treaty which was 



92 THE JEWS IN THE EASTERN WAR ZONE 

then signed by all the great Powers of Europe, the 
foUowing articles were inserted: 

XLIII. The High contracting parties recognize the inde- 
pendence of Roumania, subject to the conditions set forth in the 
two following articles. 

XLIV. In Roumania the difference of religious creeds and 
confessions shall not be alleged against any person as a ground 
for exclusion or incapacity in matters relating to the enjoyment 
of civil and political rights, admission to public employments, 
functions and honors, or the exercise of the various professions 
and industries in any locality whatsoever. 

'The freedom and outward exercise of all forms of worship 
shall be assured to all persons belonging to the Roumanian State, 
as well as to foreigners, and no hindrance shall be offered either 
to the hierarchical organizations of the different communions, or 
to their relations with their spiritual chiefs. The subjects and 
citizens of all the Powers, traders or others, shall be treated in 
Roumania, without distinction of creed, on a footing of perfect 
equality." 

Roumania having become an independent nation 
upon its recognition by these Powers, and upon the 
conditions set forth in the treaty of Berlin, it may be 
possible at the conclusion of the war that the viola- 
tions of this treaty on the part of the Roiunanian Govern- 
ment may be considered by the Powers whose honor is 
thus flaimted by an open violation of a treaty to which 
they solemnly became parties. 



J 



PALESTINE 

The Jews of Palestine were among the earliest victims 
of the war. The greater part of them are dependent, 
wholly or in part, upon their co-religionists in Europe 
and America. With the outbreak of the war all the 
normal chaimels of communication were temporarily 
interrupted. Even had this not occurred the complete 
stagnation of trade in Europe would have made it impos- 
sible for the Jews, who were themselves in difficulties, to 
continue to afford material assistance. 

The difficulties of the situation before Turkey became 
a belligerent are briefly set forth in the following extracts 
from a report, dated October 21, 1914, made by Mr. 
Maurice Wertheim, who was entrusted by Ambassador 
Morgenthau with the distribution of a fund of $50,000 
contributed by American Jews. 

The colonists themselves did not stand in actual need of assist- 
ance, as they are largely men of certain means and can help them- 
selves. Furthermore, they are able to obtain their bank deposits 
in the following manner: the Anglo-Palestine Bank, with which 
most of the Jews in Palestine do business through their various 
branches in Jaffa, Jerusalem, Haifa, Safed, and Tiberias, etc., are 
Eegistering or certifying for their depositors checks down to the 
smallest denominations. These checks are made payable to the 
drawer, endorsed by him, and the registration stamp of the bank 
is equivalent to a notice that the check will be cashed by the bank 
after the moratorium. With these checks the colonists are able 
to supply their immediate needs and harvest their crops. 

The only pressing requirement of the colonists was to exchange 
some of these checks for gold in order to pay Government taxes 
and military exoneration fees, and this was arranged. 

Further than this, the two great needs of the Jewish colonies, 
generally speaking, were: (a) to take care of Jewish laborers 
thrown out of employment by existing conditions, and (b) to secure 

93 



94 THE JEWS IN THE EASTERN WAR ZONE 

new markets for their products to take the place of those that had 
been affected by the war. 

There are about 2,500 Jewish laborers in the colonies. It is 
impossible to determine the exact percentage of xmemployed amongst 
them, but even if we assume that only half of them are out of employ- 
ment, it is easily seen that the amoimt of money we were able to 
divert to this purpose will not go very far. I might say here that 
in dividing the fund amongst the various districts in Palestine, 
we allotted to the colonies a somewhat larger proportion than their 
population justified. 

The opening up of new markets for Palestinian agricultural 
products (oranges, wine and ahnonds, are the chief articles of export), 
is probably the most pressing need of the colonist movement in 
Palestine. Colonists feel that the chief market for the oranges 
which in the past has been England, will be greatly interfered with, 
and if they are not able to dispose successfully of their products, 
their entire future and very existence will be threatened. 

The situation in the larger centers of population is very bad. 
Almost no currency enters the country and foreign checks that do 
find their way there are not realizable. This naturally places 
in great want those who depend on the '^Chaluka'' contributions 
and also the large class who depend on money sent by relatives. 
Furthermore, the industries of manufacture of antiques and souv- 
enirs are completely stopped, owing to want of customers, and 
there is no money to conduct industries such as building, carpenter- 
ing, tailoring and shoemaking, in which large numbers of Jews 
are employed. I found that the better class of Jews had themselves 
organized temporary relief, but their possibilities of assistance 
are rapidly drawing to a close. People who had, a few weeks before 
my visit, contributed to the maintenance of soup kitchens, stood 
in need themselves upon my arrival. One Jewish hospital had 
already closed. 

The food situation in Palestine was precarious, for while prices 
had not risen to any large extent, yet the source of supply was 
limited. The introduction of wheat from the East of the Jordan 
had been prohibited by the Government (which restriction through 
the efforts of the Ambassador we have endeavored to have lifted). 
In order to guard against possible shortage of food and also to 
offer food at the cheapest possible price, our Committee wiU pur^ 
chase from time to time as large quantities of food as it can, have 
bread baked itself, and will sell same at cost, or possibly a little less. 



PALESTINE 96 

When Turkey entered the war as an ally of Germany 
and Austria-Hungary the situation of the 50,000 Russian 
Jews, who constituted half of the Jewish population 
of Palestine, became precarious. As nationals of an 
enemy country, they became liable to any restrictions 
or deprivation of rights which military necessity or 
international animosity might dictate. Thus these 
thousands of Jews were to suffer because they technically 
bore the nationality of a country which had virtually 
exiled them. 

Upon the intervention of the German and American 
Embassies, however, the Ottoman Government made 
special concessions to these Jews. Several weeks' time 
was allowed for those who so desired to become Turkish 
subjects by naturalization. Upon the expiration of this 
period, those who had not availed themselves of this ofifer 
were ordered to leave. About 600 were forcibly expelled 
and about 7,000 others left voluntarily. Most of the 
fugitives took refuge in Egjrpt, whence a niunber emigrated 
to the United States. In the spring of 1915, however, 
the Council of Ministers decided that the deportations 
be discontinued. 

The diflBiculties of the economic situation of the Jewish 
population were further increased by Turkey's entrance 
in the war. The Government confiscated most of the 
crops, and a great many of the settlers were either drafted 
mto the army or compelled to buy immunity. 

In March, 1915, the American Jewish Relief Com- 
mittee and the Provisional Zionist Committee were 
enabled, through the courtesy of the United States 
Government, to send a food ship to Palestine. Although 
considerable portions of these supplies were diverted by 
the Turkish Government into non-Jewish channels, the 
food question was to a great extent solved, and conditions 



96 THE JEWS IN THE EASTERN WAR ZONE 

have been steadily improving. The present situation 
is briefly described in the following extracts from a 
report of the Provisional Executive Committee for 
General Zionist Affairs, dated August 10, 1915: 

The economic situation has also shown some improvement. 
The arrival of the relief food ship "Vulcan" has been partly responsi- 
ble for this result. After considerable discussion with the govern- 
ment authorities, the following ratio of distribution has been agreed 
upon; 55 per cent, for the Jews, 26 per cent, for the Mohammedans, 
and 19 per cent, for the Christians. 

The sending of the relief ship has had the important effect 
of lowering considerably the prices of food. The gathering of the 
harvest is now in full swing. The crops are satisfactory, especially 
in Galilee, which is principally a com growing country. Our 
farms, in particular, have proved an important factor in the present 
crisis by supplying the colonies and cities with grain at reasonable 
prices. There is reason to believe that Palestine will now be able 
to hold its own in the matter of food, without depending on further 
shipments from America. There is stiU some shortage felt in sugar 
and in some less important groceries, of which small quantities 
may still be procured from Egypt. 

The economic prospects would be considerably brighter were 
it not for the locttst which has swept over Palestine in large numbers. 
In corn-growing GaUlee the danger is less palpable than elsewhere 
where plantations are the principal feature of agriculture. The 
fight against the plague has been taken up energetically and system- 
atically. 

The danger of a shortage in grain was another problem that 
needed careful consideration. While in normal times Palestine is 
in a position to export grain abroad, the outbreak of the war, owing 
to the heavy requisitions of the Government and the difficult com- 
mimications with the North of Palestine and the Hauran, the 
granaries of the coimtry, brought an alarming situation. To deal 
with it, a special committee was organized. A number of well- 
to-do Jews bought up quantities of grain and had them milled, 
offering the flour to the public at cheap prices. In this way the 
danger threatening the population from unscrupulous speculators 
was averted and the prices were kept down. Thus, when, shortly be- 
fore Passover, the price of flour had soared up as high as 65 francs, 



PALESTINE 97 

the action of the committee had the effect of reducing it to 48. The 
committee also supplied public institutions with cheap flour. 

As another means of relief, public stores were opened by the 
committee for the sale of provisions. In spite of the fact that some 
of the goods were requisitioned by the government, the stores served 
a good purpose, helping, among other things, to circulate the checks 
of the Anglo-Palestine Company. 

From the very beginning of the crisis, the Palestina Amt made 
it a rule that no workingmen were to be dismissed, as such action 
might subject them to the danger of starvation. To supply all 
the workingmen with employment, public works were undertaken, 
such as road building, canalization and water supply. Several 
builders who had been forced to discontinue their building operations 
were assisted with loans to resume them. 

Finally, a Public Loan Association was organized to meet the 
needs of those who had formerly received remittances from abroad, 
and, owing to the discontinuation of these remittances consequent 
upon the outbreak of the war, found themselves in pitiable circum- 
stances. Some 900 persons took advantage of the faciHties o£fered 
by the Association. 

According to the statistics compiled by the Palestina Amt and 
embodied in a separate report, some 8,000 Jews left the coxmtry 
during the crisis. Of these, 4,000 were from Jaffa, 2,000 from Jeru- 
salem, 1,500 from the Judean colonies and 500 from the colonies 
in Galilee. The estimated number of Jews at present in Palestine 
is 88,100, of whom 13,500 are to be found in the colonies. 

The requisitions and the war contributions levied upon the 
Jews dmring the war, amount to 152,805 francs. 



APPENDIX 

I. 

REPORT OF THE RUSSIAN-JEWISH REUEF 

COMMITTEE 

NOTE. — The following report was issued by the {RuesiafCj 
Jewish Committee for the Relief of Sufferers from Uie War, 
to its members in Russia, in May, 1916, since when con- 
ditions in Russia and Poland have steadily grown worse. 
The authoritativeness of the report is guxirarUeed hy the per- 
sonnel of the committee, numbering among its menibership 
the foremost Jews of Russia, among whom may be named: 
Baron A. de Gumberg, H. Sliosberg, M, Ginsburg and B. 
Kamenha, chairman of the Executive Committee; M. A. 
Warschavsky, chairman of the Organizing Committee; and 
D, Feinberg, L. Bramson and M, Kreinin, Secretaries, 

Terrible disaster has befallen the Jewish population 
of the Pale of Settlement and of Polimd. Hunger and 
thirst and disease and death, and moral sufferings beyond 
the power of human pen to describe are the lot of hundred 
thousands of Jewish men, women and children whom the 
war has driven from their homes, whose houses and 
hearths have been plundered and destroyed. Hundreds 
of thousands of our unfortunate brethren are staring 
in hopeless despair into a future that seems to spell 
nothing but new tears and sufferings. . • • 

According to the data collected by the General Polish 
Relief Committee, in Poland, alone there are at least 200 
towns and about 9,000 townlets and villages that have 
suffered from the war, the material damage amounting 
to the gigantic figure of over a milliard roubles ($500,000,- 
000). Besides the terrible lossses sustained by the rural 
population, the whole industrial production, amounting 

98 



RUSSIAN JEWISH RELIEF COMMITTEE 99 

to nearly 800 million roubles a year, has been ruined. 
About three million townspeople are destitute, and of 
these three million at least half, i. e., 1,500,000, are Jews. 
To this niunber of unfortunate victims we have to add 
the population of the provinces of Kovno and Grodno in 
the northwestern region of the Pale, the provinces of Bes- 
sarabia, PodoUa and Volynia in the southern and south- 
western regions. These provinces, bordering upon Ger- 
many and Austria, have a Jewish population of at least 
500,000 people. Thus the total number of Jews that 
have, in one way or another, suffered immediately from the ^ 
conditions of warfare equals over two million people, 
representing one-third of the total Jewish population of 
Russia. 

Besides, there are himdred thousands of destitute 
Jews in Galicia (within Russian occupation) looking 
forward to relief from this country. 

To the utter ruin of their material welfare there are 
added the unspeakable sufferings that the population 
of the war area has to endure. In the most favorable 
of cases the inhabitants of the border places escape from 
the zone of fire, taking refuge in the inner parts of the 
country; while a large proportion of those unfortunate 
Jewish families have remamed m the rumed places, 
facing the phantoms of starvation and disease that 
gather a rich harvest among them. 

Such is the devotion and love of the Jews to their 
native places, to their own comer, that they prefer to 
stay in the devastated towns and townlets and villages, 
if only permitted to do so. And those who have fled 
from their homes take the first opportunity of return- 
ing, heedless of the terrible disasters lying in store for 
them. A vivid example, typical of many other instances, 
is given by the Jews in the villages of Vissiltsy, District 



100 THE JEWS IN THE EASTERN WAR ZONE 

Busak, province Kielce. Our delegate found the place 
razed by hostile shells. The popidation — ^mostly Jews — 
for over three months had been huddling together in 
cellars, where they had taken refuge. They were not 
to leave their shelter by day; no food was to be 
cooked, no fire lighted at nigh1^-«uch were the stringent 
orders from military quarters. A humane military chief 
permitted them to crawl out of their dingy holes by night 
and feed out of the soldiers' cauldron. But soon another 
chief took his place and the imfortimate Jews were left 
to starve in their cellars. « Those that succumbed were 
buried in holes that the survivors dug for them in the 
very same cellars. • • • 

Infinitely tragic too i» the fate of those Jews who, 
by rigorous orders of the miUtary authorities at a notice 
of from three to twenty-four hours are exi)elled from 
whole provinces of Poland, their presence near the area 
of hostilities bemg considered "a danger to the safety 
of the Russian arms." Leaving their homes and belong- 
ings, the fruit of years of hard toil, an open prey, the 
unfortunate exiles by the thousands wend their weary 
way to towns and villages, tMrty or more miles distant, 
that have not yet come within the decrees of the military 
authorities. Old men, sick women, clasping little children 
in their arms, carrymg bundles with some scanty belong- 
ings that they had snatched up in haste, fill the silent 
roads with the sound of their moans and sobs. Here 
an old man breaks down, breathing his last sigh in the 
middle of the road. There a woman kneels by the road- 
side staring in despair too deep for tears, at the child 
that lies dead in her arms. . . . Many are those 
who succumb on their way; indescribable are the suffer- 
ings of those who survive. Scarcely have they found 
shelter in a hospitable town or tbwnlet when — ^alas! 



RUSSIAN JEWISH RELIEF COMMITTEE 101 

too frequently — ^the prohibition of the authorities is 
a few days later extended also to these places^ and again 
the Jewish population must start upon its weary pil- 
grimage. • . • 

The total number of refugees from the war zone and 
of exiles can scarcely be calculated with precision because 
large numbers have made their way to numerous small 
townlets throughout the Pale, thus frustrating systematic 
registration, while, at the same time, the progress of the 
war tends to swell the host of refugees daily. 

Some idea of their number is given by the following 
approximate figiures: 

Warsaw 75,000 people Radom 2,000 people 

Vihia 12,000 people Gussiatin 1,000 people 

Kielce 3,000 people Shakvi (Suvalki). 1,500* people 

Konsk 4,000 people Lomzha 5,000 people 

Minsk 2,000 people Khmelnik 

Prassnysh 1,500 people (Prov. Kielce) . 1,500 people 

And yet these figures only show the number of refugees 
who have applied for assistance; hundreds of thousands 
of others are meanwhile living upon their savings and 
do not come under the registration. But they also will 
be at the end of their scant resources one of these days 
and will join the ranks of the destitute. . . . Thus, 
for the above-named places and for many other dozens 
of towns and townlets the number of refugees withm 
their walls may be doubled without fear of exaggeration. 

While numerous towns and townlets have, in generous 
hospitality, opened their gates to the unfortunate refugees 
and exiles from the war area, the native Jewish population 
of these places is itself suJBfering a severe economic crisis, 
an acute attack of unemployment, which as a matter 



* At moment of invealigation. 



102 THE JEWS IN THE EASTERN WAR ZONE 

of fact, is further intensified by the influx of refugees 
eager to offer their services, for the smallest remuneration. 
Thus poverty and misery are growmg in these places 
too, the burden of relief becoming too heavy for the 
local community to bear. 

We have already stated that the industrial life of 
Poland and in a large part of the Pale has been laid 
waste as a consequence of the war. Hundreds of fac- 
tories have been destroyed, hundreds others have had to 
stop work for want of capital, raw material, fuel and — 
first and foremost— for want of a market for their articles 
of production. Many thousands of workmen who were 
formerly employed by these factories have remained with- 
out bread. 

Whole branches of trade have been shattered, burying 
the welfare of the artisans under their ruins. The 
tailors, weavers, bootmakers, builders, trades, normally 
sustai^ a large percentag^ of Jews in Poknd and in 
the Pale, are dead; the artisans are left to starve, imless 
something can be done to save them. 

Commercial life also has been laid waste. The mer- 
chants — great and small — are ruined; hundreds of mer- 
chant's clerks are thrown out of work and have to apply 
to public charity. 

There is yet another class of sufferers whose wants 
and needs have to be attended to. About 300,000 Jews 
are fighting in the ranks of the Russian army. Their 
mothers, wives and children are receiving but scanty 
support (about 2 roubles a head) from the Government. 
About half of them, however, are not getting any Govern- 
ment aid at all, their marriages, although legally solemn- 
ized, not having been entered in the official marriage 
registers. (It is a well known fact that the imeducated 
Jews of Poland and in the Pale frequently omit to have 



RUSSIAN JEWISH RELIEF COMMITTEE 103 

their marriages registered, failing to realize the full im- 
portance of this fprmality.) Rent and food having 
become considerably dearer with the outbreak of the war, 
the soldiers' families often suffer acute want, which 
necessitates immediate help lest these people become 
charges on their community. Many of the soldiers will 
never return from the battlefields; others will come 
back as cripples, unfit to support themselves or theur 
families. They will all want support of some kind or 
another. . . . 

It is a boimdless sea of troubles that has to be coped 
with and the full weight of the task is falling upon Jewish 
shoulders. The gulf dividing the bulk of Russian society 
from Jewish life and needs and sorrows has not been 
bridged over by the horrors of war. Though now and 
again a voice of sympathy is heard from Russian quarters, 
here and there a Russian hand is extended to feed a 
starvmg Jewish child, both moral and material assistance 
offered by non-Jews to our stricken people is but in- 
finitesimal as compared with the magnitude of the distress. 

Nor do we now wish to dwell specifically on Polish- 
Jewish relations, it being too well known to what extent 
they have become pointed during the recent Dlonths, 
bearing in their train infinite, yea, unbearable sufferings 
for our Jewish brethren. 

In order to unite the efforts of Jewish society towards 
the relief of the Jewish sufferers from the war, at the 
very outbreak of the European conflagration there was 
formed at Petrograd a General Jewish Relief Committee, 
with the sanction of the Russian authorities, to act as 
a center for the collection and distribution of funds 
to the destitute and needy Jews. At the very beginning 
of its activity the General Committee issued an appeal 
to the Jewish public calling it to its duty to the 



104 THE JEWS IN THE EASTERN WAR ZONE 

unfortunate sufferers, just as the Jewish soldiers fighting 
and distinguishing them^lves in the ranks of the Russian 
army are doing their duty by their mother country. 

Jewish society at large has shown its usual responsive- 
ness and material support has been forthcoming in as 
large a measure as individual means and circumstances 
would permit. 

Committees, similar to the General Committee, work- 
ing on the same lines and in close unity with it have since 
been organized in prominent centers of the stricken area 
and outside of it — e. g., in Warsaw, Moscow, Kiev, 
Odessa, Kharkov, and in addition the existing Jewish 
organizations, such as the Central Committee of the 
Jewish Colonization Association, the Society for the 
Promotion of Education in Russia, the Jewish Health 
Society, the Society for the Promotion of Trade and 
Industry among Russian Jews, etc., etc., are taking active 
part in the relief work. Representatives of the various 
committees and societies working in the war zone and out- 
side it meet periodically in order to discuss new measures 
and schemes for the alleviation of the terrible distress. 

The conditions and extent of distress in towns, town- 
lets and villages of Poland and of the Pale are being 
ascertained through delegates of the General Relief 
Committee working actively and energetically towards 
the organization of various forms of relief in the several 
districts. In a number of places the local Jewish com- 
munity has readily joined in the relief work, doing its 
utmost to meet the demand for food, shelter, clothing; 
the local philanthropic and communal Jewish institutions 
thus becoming valuable agencies of the General Relief 
Conmiittee. On the whole, however — ^particularly as far 
as Poland is concerned — ^the organization of assistance 
to the war sufferers is meeting with endless difficulties, 



RUSSIAN JEWISH RELIEF COMMITTEE 106 

due largely to the fact that the suffering population is 
in such a state of frantic terror, that many Jews do not 
even dream of applying to anyone for assistance. In 
many instances the first terror has given way to com- 
plete apathy. 

Often our representatives have to seek these people 
out in then- hiding places, to rouse them from then: 
lethargy, to exercise moral pressure on the more promi- 
nent members of the community, before anything can 
be done for the sufferers. This attitude of the people 
becoijies intelligible when we consider the conditions 
that they live in under ordinary circumstances — ^their 
poverty, their lack of education, the contempt they are 
accustomed to meet with on the part of the non-Jewish 
population. 

SimUar conditions prevail in the GaUcian Provmces 
within Russian occupation: 

'^I found them huddling together in damp and dark 
cellars, half-naked, sick and starving" — ^these are the 
words of one of our representatives who visited some of 
the places that had witnessed all the horrors of the war. 
<<T^ey showed complete apathy, appeared to be in a trance 
of terror. Only a madman — he had become insane 
because of superhuman suffering— followed me into 
the street, shrieking for bread. I handed him a coin, 
but he threw it down and clamored for bread. ..." 

The ever changing conditions of war, that open 
up new regions for relief work today, and close other 
districts tomorrow, that throw ever new crowds of 
sufferers upon public charity — ^these, to a large extent 
baffle all our efforts towards relief, destroying today 
what was organized yesterday. Add to this the peculiar 
circumstances of Jewish life in Russia, the unfavorable 
attitude of the authorities towards the Jewish population 



106 THE JEWS IN THE EASTERN WAR ZONE 

in the war area — and the difficulties that the organization 
of relief has to cope with will stand out in their full 
significance. 

Owing to these and other conditions the General 
Relief Committee up till now has had to concentrate 
largely on extending ''first aid/' this term being here 
used to comprise feeding and sheltering of the sufferers. 
Distribution of food (at low rates or free of charge), 
of fuel, clothes, foot-wear; organization of feeding centres, 
ameUoration of sheltering and housing conditions, of 
sanitation and hygiene among the war sufferers — are 
the chief forms relief has taken so far. 

At the present moment there are being equipped 
by the General Relief Committee two so-called "sanitary 
and feeding expeditions" whose object it will be to offer 
medical assistance and provide free food to the sufferers 
in the war area of Poland, irrespective of religious de- 
nomination. (The money for this purpose has been 
received from London with the express condition that no 
distinction be made between Jews and non-Jews). 

Moreover, insofar as this has been possible, efforts 
have been made to secure work for the refugees and 
for those who have lost their employment as a result 
of the war. Thus in Warsaw there has been opened a 
workshop where refugees are employed in manufacturing 
various articles of underclothing for distribution among 
the war sufferers. In Vilna there has been established 
a workshop for bootmakers who are filling Govern- 
ment orders for army boots. Similar workshops have 
been organized at Dvinsk, Fastov, etc. Further, there 
has been opened at Warsaw a labor-bureau which is 
obtaining work for a considerable number of artisans. 

A large number of small merchants and artisans being 
in urgent need of credit to enable them to re-establish and 



RUSSIAN JEWISH RELIEF COMMITTEE 307 

operate their business and to prevent them from lapsing 
into utter destitution, credit is being afforded them 
through the medium of the Jewish cooperative credit 
societies that are working throughout the Pale of Settle- 
ment and Poland. So far, by way of experiment, about 
23,000 roubles have been invested in this operation; 
however, should this useful form of assistance be en- 
larged, considerable means will be required for the 
purpose. 

At the present moment the General Relief Com- 
mittee, working in close cooperation with the com- 
mittees in Moscow, Kiev and Odessa, is extending relief 
to over 300 centres of population situated in the following 
provinces: 

Approximate Number 
Poland — of Populated Centers 

Province Warsaw (including city of 
Warsaw where a large number of 

refugees are concentrated) 46 

\ Province Vilna 18 

Province Kovno 40 

Province Suvalki 20 

Province Liublin (only part of it 25 

being accessible to relief work) 

Province Kielce (only part of it being 

accessible to relief work) 12 

Province Radom 15 

Province Grodno (now included in 
sphere of activity of Moscow 
Committee) 5 

Province Lomzha (now included in 
sphere of activity of Moscow 
Committee) 10 

Province Plotsk (now included in 
sphere of activity of Moscow 
Committee) 8 

Province Kholm (now within activity 
of Kiev and Odessa Committee) . . 10 



1 
i 

108 THE JEWS IN THE EASTERN WAR ZONE 

Approximate Number 
of Populated Centers 
Southwestern Province — 

Province: Podolia, Bessarabia and 
Volynia (Border districts) 10 

Galida— 

Petrograd Committee (cooperating 
with Kiev and Odessa Conmiittee). 76 

Outside War Area 10 

Total 304 

Some idea of the expenditures of the General Relief 
Committee in Petrograd is given by the following figures: 

FOR GENERAL RELIEF 

Poland — Roubles 

Warsaw 350,000 

Province Warsaw 10,000 

Lodz 1,500 

Province Lomsha 12,000 

Province Suvalki 7,000 

Province Liublin 76,000 

Province Radom 45,000 

Province Cholm 4,400 

Province Kielce 40,000 

546,000 

Southwestern Province — 

(Border Places) 14,000 

Radzivilov 14,000 

Chtin 5,000 

Volotchisk 5,000 

Gorokov 1,000 

Novosselitsy 500 

Various snmll places. ... , 5,000 

31,000 



RUSSIAN JEWISH RELIEF COMMITTEE 109 

Northwestern Province — Roubles 

Province Kovno 55,000 

Province Vilna 30,000 

Province Bialystock, Minsk, etc 10,000 

95,000 

GaUcia 112,000 

Assistance to Jews in Palestine and Syria (through 
representative in Alexandria) 10,000 

Assistance to Russian- Jewish Refugees from Abroad 

(when passing Petrograd) 1,500 

Assistance to Wounded and Recovered Soldiers return- 
ing to the Front 15,00a 

Purchase of Matzoth for Soldiers at the Front (subsidy 
to the Rabbinical Committee) 15,000- 

Subsidy to Various Educational Institutions (Yeshiboth, 
Jewish teachers, etc.) 16,000- 

Organization of cheap credit to Jewish artisans, workmen 
and merchants (through Jewish Cooperative Credit 
Societies) 22,000* 

Assistance to clerks of Jewish Cooperative Societies 

(affected by the war) 1,000 

Organization and support of sanitary and feeding ex- 
peditions (two expeditions) 50,000 

Total 914,000 

Expenditure of the Moscow, Odessa, Kiev Committees. . . 350,000 

l,204,000t 

According to approximate estimates within the next 
months the General Jewish ReUef Committee, working 
conjointly with the Jewish Committees in Moscow, Kiev 

* Besides the sums granted to the cooperative credit societies by the Jewish 
Colonization Association. 

t Towards these expenses Russian Jewry has contributed a little over a million 
roubles. 



110 THE JEWS IN THE EASTERN WAR ZONE 

and Odessa, will require the following sums to satisfy 
the most urgent needs of the organizations now in full 
operation and yet to be started: 

Poland and Northwestem Provinces — Roubles 

Warsaw From 160,000 to 200,000 

Province Warsaw From 16,000 to 20,000 

Province Liublin.r From 20,000 to 25,000 

Province Suvalki From 12,000 to 15,000 

Province Radom From 20,000 to 25,000 

Province Kielce From 20,000 to 25,000 

Province Kovno From 25,000 to 30,000 

Province Vilna From 10,000 to 15,000 

Province Grodno ...From 8,000 to 10,000 

Province Lomzha * From 15,000 to 20,000 

Province Plotzk From 6,000 to 8,000 

Pijovince Cholm From 10,000 to 12,000 

Southwestern Provinces — 

Province Volynia. From 20,000 to 25,000 

Province Podolia 

Province Bessarabia From 40,000 to 60,000 

Galida— 

Outside war area From 10,000 to 15,000 

Restoration of trade and industry among 

among war sufferers From 100,000 to 150,000 

Extraordinary expenditure From 10,000 to 15,000 

Thus From 484,000 to 650»000 

[Expressed in United States currency, the sum of $242,000 to 
$325,000 per month will be required, according to this early 
estimate, to satisfy the most urgent needs of the sufferers.] 

As already pointed out, the sphere and extent of 
distress are ever increasing with the progress of the war. 
The Jewish relief organizations in Russia thus stand 
before the alarming problem: whence to obtain adequate 



SPEECH OP DEPUTY FRIEDMAN 111 

funds to satisfy the ever growing demand. This problem 
becomes the more urgent as new forms of reUef must be 
devised as the time goes on. It will not do merely to 
feed and shelter the stricken population. Many of the 
sufferers are able and willing to work, if they but had the 
possibility of doing so. 

The attention of the Jewish public will therefore 
have to be concentrated on a new problem: to help the 
ruined artisans to rehabilitate themselves, to rebuild 
their shattered homes and to restore their ruined business 
by means of cheap credit provided for them. The 
solution of this problem will, however, require infinitely 
larger means, which Russian Jewry is unable to raise. . . . 



SPEECH OF DEPUTY FIOEDMAN IN 

THE DUMA 

(August 2, 1915) 

(Translated from Petrograd ''Retch," of August 3, 1915, and 
published in the New York "Times," September 23, 1915) 

In spite of their oppressed condition, in spite of their 
status of outlawry, the Jews have risen to the exalted 
mood of the nation and in the course of the last year 
have participated in the war in a noteworthy manner. 
They fell short of the others in no respect. They mobil- 
ized their entire enrollment, but, indeed, with this differ- 
ence, that they have also sent their only sons into the 
war. The newspapers at the beginning of the war had 
a remarkable nuipber of Jewish volunteers to record. 
Gentlemeni those were volunteers wlio were entitled 
through their educational qualifications to the rank 



112 THE JPWS IN THE EASTERN WAR ZONE 

of officers. They knew that they would not receive 
this rank; and nevertheless they entered the war. 

The Jewish youth, which, as a resiilt of the restrictions 
Bs to admission to the high schools of the country, had 
been forced to study abroad, returned home when war 
was declared, or entered the armies of the allied nations. 
A large number of Jewish students fell at the defense 
of Liege and also at other points on the western front. 

The Zionist youths, when they were confronted with 
the dilemma of acceptmg Turkish sovereignty or being 
compeUed to emigrate from Palestme, preferred to go 
to Alexandria and there to join the English army. 

The Jews built hospitals, contributed money, and 
participated in the war in every respect just as did the 
other citizens. Many Jews received marks of distinction 
for their conduct at the front. 

Before me lies the letter of a Jew who returned from 
the United States of America: 

"I risked my life," he writes, "and if, nevertheless, 
I came as far as Archangel, it was only because I loved 
my fatherland more than my life or that American free- 
dom which I was permitted to enjoy. I became a soldier, 
and lost my left arm almost to the shoulder. I was brought 
into the governmental district of Courland. Scarcely 
had I reached Riga when I met at the station my mother 
and my relatives, who had just arrived tiiere, and who 
on that same day were compelled to leave their hearth 
and home at the order of the military authorities. Tell 
the gentlemen who sit on the benches of the Right that 
I do not mourn my lost arm, but ithat I do mourn deeply 
the self-respect that was not denied to me in alien lands 
but is now lost to me." 

Such was the sentiment of the Jews that foimd ex- 
pression in numerous appeals and manifestations in the 



SPEECH OF DEPUTY FRIEDMAN 113 

press, and jBnally also in this House. Surely these 
sentiments should have been taken into account. One 
should have a right to assume that the Government 
would adopt measures for the amelioration of the fate 
of the Jews who found themselves in the very centre of 
the war-like occurrences. Likewise, one should have 
taken into account the sentiments of hundreds of thous- 
ands of Jews who shed their blood on the field of battle. 

Instead of that, however, we see that from the begin- 
ning of the war the measures of reprisals against the 
Jewish populace were not only not weakened but, on the 
contrary, made much stronger. Banished were Jewish 
men and women whose husbands, children, and brothers, 
were shedding their blood for the fatherland. A wounded 
soldier named Alexander Roskhov, who had been shot 
in the eye, came to Charkof for further treatment. On 
his passport were the words, "To be sent to a settle- 
ment.'' The private soldier Godlewski, one of whose 
legs had been amputated, and who found himself at 
Rostof on the Don for recuperation, they tried to send 
to his native village in the Government of Kalisch, al- 
ready under German occupation; and it was only due 
to the activities of the Rural League thatJhe was per- 
mitted to stay. An apothecary's helper, who likewise 
had been wounded on the battlefield, was not allowed 
to remain in Petrograd for his ciu'e, and it was only by 
virtue of special intercession that he was later allowed 
to sojourn two months more at Petrograd, with the 
notice, however, that at the expiration of this period 
no further extension of his sojourn would be granted. 

In a long war lucky events alternate with unlucky 
ones, and in any case it is naturally useful to have scape- 
goats in reserve. For this purpose there exists the old 
firm; the Jew. Scarcely has the enemy reached our 



114 THE JEWS IN THE EASTERN WAR ZONE 

frontiers when the rumor is spread that Jewish gold 
is flowing over to the Germans, toid that, too, in aero- 
planes, in coffins, and — in the entrails of geese! 

Scarcely had the enemy pressed further, than there 
appeared again beyond dispute the eternal Jew "on the 
white horse," perhaps the same one who once rode on the 
white horse through the city in order to provoke a pogrom. 
The Jews have set up telephones, have destroyed the 
telegraph lines. The legend grew, and with the eager 
support of the powers of Government and the agitation 
in official circles, assumed ever greater proportions. A 
series pf imprecedented, imheard of, cruel measures was 
adopted against the Jews. These measures, which were 
carried out before the eyes of the entire population, 
suggested to the people and to the army the recognition 
of the fact that the Jews were treated as enemies by the 
Government, and that the Jewish population was outside 
the law. 

In the first place these measures consisted of the 
complete transplanting of the Jewish population from 
many districts, to the very last man. These compulsory 
migrations took place in the Kingdom of Poland and in 
many other territories. All told, about a half million 
persons have been doomed to a state of beggary and 
vagabondage. Anyone who has seen with his own eyes 
how these expulsions take place, will never forget them 
as long as he lives. The exiling took place within twenty- 
four hours; sometimes within two days. Women, old 
men, and children, and sometimes invalids, were ban- 
ished. Even the feebleminded were taken from the 
lunatic asylums and the Jews were forced to take these 
with them. In Mohilnitse, 5,000 persons were expelled 
within twenty-four hours. Their way led to Warsaw 
through Kalwayra. Meantime they were forced to 



SPEECH OF DEPUTY FRIEDMAN 115 

travel across fields through the Government of Lublin, 
and were deprived of the possibility of taking along 
their inventories. Many were obliged to travel on foot. 
When they reached Lublin, the Jewish Committee there 
had provided bread and food for them; but they were 
not allowed to tarry, and they had to travel on at 
once. 

On the way an accident occurred; a six-year-old 
child was killed by a fall. The parents were not per- 
mitted to bury the child. 

I saw also the refugees of the Government of Kovno. 
Persons who only yesterday were still accoimted wealthy 
were be^ars the next day. Among the refugees I met 
Jewish women and girls, who had worked together with 
Russian women, had sewed garments with them and 
collected contributions with them, and who were now 
forced to encamp on the railway embankment. I saw 
families of reservists. I saw among the exiles wounded 
soldiers wearing fhe Cross of St George. It is said 
that Jewish soldiers in marching through the Polish 
cities were forced to witness the expulsion of their wives 
and children. The Jews were loaded in freight cars 
like cattle. The bills of lading were worded as follows: 
"Four hundred and fifty Jews, en route to J^ 

There were cases in which the Governors refused 
outright to take in the Jews at all. I myself was in Vilna 
at the very time when a whole trainload of Jews was 
stalled for four days in Novo-Wilejsk station. Those 
were Jews who had been sent from the Government of 
Kovno to the Government of Poltawa, but the Governor 
there would not receive them and sent them back to 
Kovno, whence they were again reshipped to Poltawa. 
Imagine, at a time when every railway car is needed for 
the traosportation of munitions, when from all sides 



116 THE JEWS IN THE EASTERN WAR ZONE 

are heard complaints about the lack of means of trans- 
portation, the Government permits itself to do such a 
thing! At one station there stood 110 freight cars con- 
taimng Jewish exiles. 

Another measure which likewise is unprecedented 
in the entire history of the civiUzed world, is the intro- 
duction of the so-called system of "Hostages," and, 
indeed, hostages were taken not from the enemy, but 
from the country's own subjects, its own citizens. Host- 
ages were taken in Radom, Kieltse, Lomscha, Kovno, 
Riga, Lublin, etc. The hostages were held imder the 
most rigorous regime, and at present there are still under 
arrest in Poltava Jewish hostages from the Governments 
of Kieltse and Radom. 

Some time ago, in commenting upon the procedure 
against the Jews, the leader of the Opposition, even 
before the outbreak of the war, used the expression 
that we were approaching the times of Ferdinand and 
Isabella. I now assert that we have already surpassed 
that era. No Jewish blood was shed in defence of Spain, 
but ours flowed the moment the Jews helped defend the 
Fatherland. 

Yes, we are beyond the pale of the laws, we are 
oppressed, we have a hard life, but we know the source 
of that evil; it comes from those benches (pointing to 
the boxes of the Ministers). We are being oppressed 
by the Russian Government, not by the Russian people. 
Why, then, is it surprising if we wish to unite our des- 
tinies, not with that of the Russian Government, but 
with that of the Russian people? When three years 
ago there was pending here the Cholm law proposal, 
did the thought ever occur at the time to the sponsors 
of the bill that in a short time they would have to scrape 
and bow before free autonomous Poland? We likewise 



SPEECH OF BARON ROSEN 117 

hope that the time is not distant when we can be citizens 
of the Russian State with full equality of privileges 
with the free Russian people. 

Before the face of the entire country, before the 

entire civilized worid, I declare that the calumnies against 

the Jews are the most repulsive Ues and chimeras of 

persons who will have to be responsible for their crimes. 

Applause on Left.] 

It depends upon you, gentlemen of the Imperial Duma, 
to speak the word of encouragement, to perform the 
action that can deliver the Jewish people from the terrible 
pUght in which it is at present, and that can lead them 
back into the ranks of the Russian citizens who are 
defending their Fatherland. [Cries of "Right."] 

I do not know if the Imperial Duma will so act, but if 
it does so act it will be fulfilling an obligation of honor 
and an act of wise statesmanship that is i^ecessary for the 
profit and for the greatness of the Fatherland. [Applause 
on the Left.] 



m. 

ABSTRACT OF SPEECH OF BARON R. R. ROSEN 
IN THE COUNCIL OF THE EMPIRE* 

August 22 (September 4), 1915 

(Translation from "Retch," No. 231, August 23 

(September 5), 1915) 

Baron Rosen began with the statement that while 
the question of supplies for the army and navy was 
paramount, there was nevertheless another side to it, 
and that was the question of the domestic policy of the 

* Baron RoBen was formerly Russian Ambassador to the United States. 



118 THE JEWS IN THE EASTERN WAR ZONE 

Empire. He reminded his heareirs that in May, 1913, 
he had warned the Council of the Empire of the catas- 
trophe inmiinent in Europe, but tiiat his statement 
had been met with ridicule and skepticism. The result 
of such an attitude in now obvious to all. In this great 
conflict, it has become clear that neither side will be 
able to crush the other, as was expected at the outset 
of this war. But even as it is, this war of extermination 
of the white race must, in the end, be decided in favor 
of one of the two parties at conflict. He thought that 
certam intangible elements entering into the question 
would be of great importance in the settlement of this 
war. Putting aside the poUtical, economic and psychol- 
ogical questions that led to this conflict, he thought 
that the ultimate issue was the decision of the world 
to battle against the dictum of Germany that "might 
is greater than right and right is created only by might." 
Under the circumstances, it would seem that the sym- 
pathies of the entire world should be on the side of the 
allies. But in reality this is not the case; and for this 
there are several reasons. 

"It is undoubtedly within our power to do away with 
one of the factors militating against us in the public 
opinion of neutral countries. In the struggle that we, 
together with the most civilized nations of Europe, ar^ 
waging against the Pan-Germanism, imperialism and 
absolutism, and for right and jiistice, for the liberty 
and independence of the weaker nations, we shall achieve 
the full sympathy of the civilized world only when we 
shall have put our inner front — ^if I may use that expres- 
sion — on a level with the political ideology of our valiant 
allies; for instance, in the conduct of our polity with 
reference to the borderlands, and the so-called alien 
races composing its population." 



SPEECH OF BARON ROSEN 119 

After stating that there were two diametrically opposed 
political systems, one current among the Allies and the 
other among the Germans, Baron Rosen continued: 

"To the maximum injury of the true interests of Russia,^ 
we have adopted and have carried out unswervingly the 
true German system of politics with reference to our 
borderlands and the so-called foreign races and foreign 
faiths, a policy which has been made even more perfect 
by the admixture of medieval religious intolerance. 

"It may be retorted that the fate of a campaign is 
decided by military power and not by the greater or 
lesser sympathy of neutral countries for the policy of 
a given state. The German Government does not think 
so; for otherwise it would not spend countless milUons 
for pan-German propaganda in all the countries of the 
world, even the most remote. But we, on the other 
hand, not only fail to oppose anythmg to this propa- 
ganda, but by the course of our domestic policies we place 
in the hands of this propaganda powerful arguments 
for arousing against us public opinion of such coimtries 
as the United States, the only great neutral power, and 
of Sweden, our neighbor. 

^It is inconceivable that the framers of our policy 
should fail to realize that the propaganda directed against 
us, conducted under official auspices and eqtdpped with 
the amplest resources, will scarcely cause our own inter- 
ests and the interests of our Allies one-tenth of the harm 
which is caused to these interests by our attitude towards 
the Jewish population of Russia and our systematic 
violation of the legal conscience of the Finnish population 
— an attitude which smacks of the dark times of medie- 
valism. 

"The question now is, why did not the Government 
find it possible to put an end to this problem decisively 



120 THE JEWS IN THE EASTERN WAR ZONE 

and forever, as it has finally, and, alas, with such delay, 
settled the question of the autonomy of Poland? This 
may be explained only by the fact that the Government 
hesitated to break with the traditional policy so dear 
to the militant nationalism. 

''Accordingly the Duma and the Council are in duty 
bound to come to the aid of the Government in this 
regard and take upon themselves the initiative of intro- 
ducing a bill for the abolition of all laws restricting the 
rights of the Jews and for the abrogation of the law of 
July 17 (30) concerning Finland. The passage of these 
measures would undoubtedly lighten the heavy task 
now confrontmg the Government in the sphere of inter- 
national relations and it would be met by our valiant 
allies with the liveliest satisfaction. 

<^e must remember that this great European war 
is not only a struggle of interests, but is also a struggle 
of ideas and principles. In the battle against German 
militarism, Russia has placed herself on the side of rig^t 
and freedom, and for the triumph of the idea for which 
we are now fighting, it is necessary that in Russia, too, 
there should be no longer any people without rights or 
any people oppressed." 



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